16 Dec 2015

Should you drink Kava and drive?

From Nine To Noon, 9:36 am on 16 December 2015
Bowl of kava

Bowl of kava Photo: AFP

Former police officer and soldier Dr Apo Aporosa has received a 2015 Pacific postdoctoral fellowship worth $230,000 from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to examine the effects of drinking kava, on driver ability and road safety. The study - the first of its kind - will use cognitive and driving simulation tests to access driver fitness immediately following high kava use, which is known to have soporific effects.

It's estimated that there are more than 20,000 kava users on an average Friday or Saturday night in New Zealand. Most of these are consuming kava at volumes 32 times greater than pharmacologically recommended doses, with many then driving home.