24/7 Support Line

(954) 526-5776
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

Drug Addiction Becomes Recruiting Fodder for Somali Militants

Drug addiction is an uncontrolled, devastating problem for the lawless land of Somalia. In a country torn by decades of war, famine, drought and wholesale ethnic cleansing, a large portion of the population has turned to drugs as their only means of escape. However, this has come at a cost – and that cost has now spread to other areas of the world. At Khat houses in Britain and other European countries, Somali militants are directly targeting the young men that abuse this drug for work in jihad camps and terrorist plots. Understanding this problem is critical, as Khat is becoming an increasingly more widely used drug in the United States – a significant terrorist target.

Khat is a stimulant drug that is generally chewed in order to obtain the “high” it produces. The drug isn’t well-known by the American public, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, officials are already combating its effects:

“Khat (pronounced “cot”) is a stimulant drug derived from a shrub (Catha edulis) that is native to East Africa and southern Arabia. The khat plant itself is not scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act; however, because one of its chemical constituents, cathinone, is a Schedule I drug, the Federal Government considers its use illegal.” (1)

But in Europe, the drug is legal and is used heavily in some communities. In Great Britain, shady establishments have been setup for the purpose of offering khat. These buildings are typically shuttered heavily and are difficult to get into if you are not a Muslim of a certain appearance.

Inside the Khat houses, called Marfishes, criminal activity is reportedly organized, and terrorist groups have been recruiting the drug addicts who go there to chew the plant. Unfortunately, these individuals are often poorly educated and lack the resources and financial backing to sustain themselves in a European economy that doesn’t particularly include these groups. This leads to a serious issue of poverty, addiction, isolation and disillusionment – prime factors used by militants for recruiting.

According to a recent article for CNN by Nima Elbagir;

“The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) estimates that Britons now make up a quarter of foreign fighters in Somalia, and says Al-Shabaab is stepping up its effort to make the most of this fertile recruiting ground.” (2)

Al-Shabaab is a Somalian warlord thought to directly recruit foreign fighters – particularly young men from khat houses in the UK. This appears to be an especially fruitful method of obtaining new fighters, as the difficult life that khat users often face can be an especially powerful weapon to turn them against their own people and join the militant mission.

However, not every khat user who is recruited from a marfish does so willingly. Reports have surfaced that some young men are whisked away from the khat houses, only to turn up thousands of miles away fighting wars they don’t understand and can’t possibly hope to win. For them, it’s unclear which war is more damaging: the war they fight with guns and explosives, or the war they fight as they battle their own drug addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease that is addiction, taking action right now can literally mean the difference between life and death. Call the number at the top of your screen for a free, confidential consultation with absolutely no obligation. Our drug addiction treatment practices are considered among the most successful in the world, and we’re standing by to provide you with guidance right now. Why wait? Pick up the phone and call us now, or use the form on your right to check your insurance and get started right away.

(1) National Institute on Drug Abuse InfoFacts: Khat January 2011
(2) Elbagir, Nima Somali militants target addicts in UK’s ‘khat cafes’ CNN International February 23, 2012

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More