22 Aug 2012

American Samoa judge concerned at substance abuse

3:03 pm on 22 August 2012

A District Court judge in American Samoa, John Ward, says family and social problems caused by alcohol should be addressed as a public health issue.

And he says the territory's chronic substance abuse problem is partly attributable to the government's lax licensing laws.

He made these comments in the case of a 50-year-old man arrested for causing a disturbance at his home after drinking alcohol.

The judge said the court has to deal with these problems because no one else is addressing them.