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The aromatic pepper plant Piper methysticum, indigenous to the south Pacific islands of Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Samoa, or a drink prepared by grinding its roots and stems, mixing them with water, and sieving the resulting liquid. It induces euphoria, sedation, incoordination, and other effects, some of them possibly harmful. It is a traditional ceremonial drug in Fiji and elsewhere, and in the late 1990s a demand for it began to emerge in Western cultures. See also substance abuse, substance-related disorders. [From Polynesian (Tongan) kava bitter]

Subjects: Psychology.

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