Action is required to reduce kava supply in Arnhem Land...again!

Clough, Alan R., Currie, Bart, Yunupingu, Maymuna W., and Conigrave, Katherine M. (2006) Action is required to reduce kava supply in Arnhem Land...again! Medical Journal of Australia, 184 (2). pp. 91-92.

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Abstract

[Extract] We are concerned that the Northern Territory’s regulations on kava have not succeeded in controlling its availability in Arnhem Land (the north-eastern region of the NT). Under the Kava Management Act 1998 (NT), one wholesaler is licensed to supply kava (Piper methysticum Forst. f.) to four licensed retailers in Arnhem Land Aboriginal communities.

“Kava Management Plans” in “Kava Licence Areas” permit retailers to supply 600–800 g per week of kava powder to each purchaser — more than double the known harmful consumption levels (240–440 g per week). Legal kava supplied will reach 26 tonnes in 2005 (worth $3.6 million), with a persistent illegal trade adding 8 tonnes, worth perhaps $2 million. Two proposed additional retail licences1 will increase kava’s availability.

Kava’s social and economic effects remain an ongoing concern. The region’s community-controlled health service attributes to kava abuse an accelerated decline in participation in traditional ceremonies and mortuary rites in some localities. Kava is the psychoactive substance with greatest impact on the financial resources of communities and individuals in Arnhem Land.

Item ID: 12003
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
Keywords: kava, Indigenoius, Australian
ISSN: 1326-5377
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2010 23:26
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 100%
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