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Khat project delivering through community development

13 Jul 2015

A project by Smokefree Ealing to help people who use the drug Khat has been featured as a case study of best-practice by the international media.

Smokefree Ealing

Since Khat was banned as an illegal class C drug in June 2014, the team at Smokefree Ealing has done extensive work to help people who were previously using the drug.

Using a community development model to deliver behavioural interventions, the service successfully delivered a pilot project on Khat for Ealing Public Health.

The project, which ran from September 2014 to March 2015 supported 104 people in Ealing who were using Khat, and achieved an 80% quit success rate.

Thirty people were also transferred to the local drugs and alcohol service substance support.

Due to this fantastic achievement, the service was awarded a further grant in April 2015.

The team has recently been asked to provide reflections on best practice and learning from the project.

Abdi Ali, the project lead (pictured) gave interviews on both BBC World Service Somali and the Voice of America.

Johnny Nota, service manager said: “I’m delighted that the project is having such a positive impact within the local community but it is great to see that it is also obtaining recognition beyond the UK.”

The drug can make pre-existing mental health problems worse and it can provoke feelings of anxiety and aggression. It can also inflame the mouth and damage teeth, and there are concerns about the long-term risk of mouth cancers.

For more information, contact the communications team on 020 8354 8737 or at communications@wlmht.nhs.uk.