Kava and driving
Kava drinking has been a central traditional practice of Pacific Island people for more than 2,000 years. As Pacific people have migrated, they have taken their kava-culture with them, which has, in turn, influenced kava use among non-Pacific people.
Many kava drinkers continue to reflect traditional patterns of use, including consuming kava at volumes that can be as high as 30 times the pharmacologically recommended daily dose. Increased kava use has also corresponded with increased reports by the police in Pacific nations, New Zealand, Australia and the United States of suspected kava ‘intoxicated’ drivers.
That concern prompted three major studies, funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council's Pacific division, and led by Dr Apo Aporosa at Te Huataki Waiora School of Health in association with the School of Psychology's Traffic and Road Safety Research Group.
Resources, such as information brochures on the impacts of driver safety following kava use, and presented in selected Pacific languages, are currently being prepared. Hard copies of the brochures will shortly be distributed in the community whereas digital copies will be uploaded here by July 2021.
The brochures suggest further reading for those wanting more information. That information can be found by clicking on the following themes:
Kava use and safety (incl. effects, health issues and addiction concerns)
Kava use and safety (summary of above paper)
Kava and driving:
study 1 (technical report)
study 1 (published research)
study 2 (feasibility study to be published in March 2021)
study 3 (technical report uploaded here July 2021)