BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
Khat concerns debated at meeting
A handful of khat leaves
Excessive use of khat has been linked to mental illness
The health and social effects of a plant called khat, which is chewed as a stimulant by many Somali men, have been discussed in Bristol.

Sale of the plant is legal in the UK, but some health experts believe it is a factor in cases of domestic violence.

And despite fears that excessive use could lead to mental illness, a Home Office review ruled against a ban.

Tuesday's conference in the city, which has a high population of Somalis, focused on the problems linked to khat.

Somali community worker Latif Ismail said: "People from the Somali community are able to import or buy khat in Bristol.

"The effects are amphetamine-like and can have an impact on health and social life."

The conference, organised by a resident-led group called Community at Heart, was being held at the Rose Green centre in Whitehall.

Survey supports ban on drug khat
27 Nov 05 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific