Kava kava Category: Depressants
Also called: piper methysticum, yaquona root.
How it’s used
Kava is made from the root of the yaquona plant. In Polynesia it is used as a popular drink or remedy to treat anxiety. It comes in capsules or in its raw form. You can eat it or dissolve in liquid. Kava was withdrawn from legal sale in Ireland in 2002 because it was linked to serious liver problems in other countries.
Makes you feel calm and relaxed
Liver damage including jaundice, tiredness, nausea and vomiting
If you already have mental health problems, any drug can trigger them
If you are pregnant
Do not use if you are pregnant, as we do not know enough about the risks to your baby.
All drugs can become habit forming but the risk with kava is quite low.
Even though people in the South Pacific use it in high doses, no withdrawal symptoms have been reported.
What help is available?
- Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
- Counselling or psychotherapy
- Complementary therapies such as acupuncture
- Support from your doctor
- Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
- One to one or group family support
- Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area