Five years have passed since the use of the hallucinatory drug Hagigat was banned in Israel. Hagigat contains the active ingredients Cathinone, Methcathinone, and Cathine which are produced from khat leaves.
However, various derivatives of the substance are still sold in kiosks in Israel and can cause severe damage.
According to the Dangerous Drugs Act, the official list of dangerous drugs must be updated for every new derivative of the active substance that is marketed. The Health Ministry has long worked on a plan to amend the act to make it possible to name whole groups of drugs in the legislation.
A comprehensive study published last year in the scientific journal "Clinical Toxicology" pointed to dozens of cases of poisoning from Hagigat pills of different derivatives that contained 200mg of Cathinone per pill. It was found that the use of the derivatives increased after the original Hagigat drug was made illegal.
There were 34 reports of poisoning, which brought on headaches, vomiting, increased blood pressure, nausea, irregular heartbeat, difficulties in breathing, pressure in the chest and muscular pains.
The researchers also found serious effects including damage to the heart, pulmonary edema and intracranial hemorrhage.
November 18, 2009