WHEN PEOPLE talk about drugs
, they usually mean illegal substances such as amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, heroin. In reality 'legal' drugs – alcohol and tobacco – are by far the greatest cause of drug-related
harm in our society and together with medications these are the drugs young people abuse most frequently.
The teenage years are a time for experimenting, risk-taking, asserting independence and wanting to fit in with their peer group. Most teenagers will be exposed to illegal drugs at some time. This makes involvement with illegal drugs more likely. In Jakarta relatively affluent expat children are targeted by very persuasive drug dealers so extra parental care is warranted.
Many will try drugs for the same reasons as adults – to socialize, curiosity, because it seems fun or because their friends use them. Some older adolescents will try cannabis but encouragingly most adolescents do not use other illegal substances.
How you deal with a child whom you suspect is using drugs will depend to some extent on the way other
matters are dealt with in your family. There are no hard and fast rules.
THESE GUIDELINES MIGHT HELP:
• Don't panic
This will make you angry and start giving orders which will not encourage your child to talk freely about the problem.
• Don't be judgmental
This will only alienate a teenager. You need to be honest about your concerns and encourage your child to talk about what they're taking and if there are any reasons why they're using drugs. Many teenagers feel very guilty and very frightened by their drug use. They may well be relieved by ventilating their concerns.
them about the positive effects they feel from taking drugs but also ask about the bad side. Ask if they are aware of the dangers.
to them and don't interrupt. Make it a discussion, not an argument.
yourself and your children about the problems drugs can cause. Young people are generally ignorant of the real facts and believe poorly based information from friends.
Talking with teenagers about drugs in an open, non-threatening way is the best approach.
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Abdominal Pain in Children
Every parent has faced this worrying dilemma: Your child complains of abdominal pain and seems distressed. Needless to say this is often a middle of the night exercise. What do you do? Seek urgent medical advice, wait and see if the child gets sicker or try to calmly sit back and assess the following points
and use them to make your treatment decision. Reassure yourself abdominal pain needing urgent medical treatment is not especially common in children. Usually there is a benign cause such as vomiting and diarrhoea or some common viral infection.
LOOK FOR THESE SYMPTOMS:
pain associated with vomiting especially if the vomit contains bile.
which occurs at night and wakes the child.
• If normal
movement is avoided or aggravates the pain.
localized away from the belly button. Ask your child to point to where the pain is. If your child points to the belly button then it is less likely there is any significant cause for the abdominal pain.
Symptoms change over time and if no improvement then a medical opinion is e
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Suddenly Need a White Cane?
Lost your spectacles and really can't see too well? Use this simple tip to help find your way home or even to read the telephone directory: Stick a pin hole in a piece of paper and look through it. You will have sufficient vision to get around.
You can also make a fist and look through that. Try it !
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Your Biological Clock Always Wins!
The average age in Australia of women having their first child is now 31. About 12% of all first births now occur in women over 35 years which is double the rate of only a decade ago. Fertility declines significantly after age 36 with 25% of women seeking IVF treatment being aged over 40 years.
Despite advances in IVF techniques, sadly any belief that IVF techniques can stop your biological clock is misplaced. The average 40-year-old has only a 20% chance of achieving a successful pregnancy through IVF using her own eggs and by 45 years this is down to only 1-2%.
Not only are pregnancies in the older patient more difficult to achieve but there is also a higher rate of miscarriage, fetal abnormality and perinatal problems
e.g. The incidence of Down Syndrome is 1:1100 at age 25 years, 1: 100 at 40 years but 1:25 at 45 years. Over 40 years the risk of having a child later diagnosed with autism is 50% greater than that of a 25 – 29 years mother.
There is often a curious disconnect between what a woman acknowledges as the reality for others of her age and her own personal situation. Women's magazines are full of stories of some celebrity or other who has successfully given birth to twins in her 40s giving the impression this is a routine IVF success. Unfortunately, most of these stories neglect to mention that the pregnancy was most likely achieved with donor eggs.
In reality pregnancy rates are still disappointingly low with this donor–egg technique. Donor eggs are difficult to obtain legally in some countries.
The suggestion is if you are over 35 years and wish to become pregnant see an IVF clinic after six months of trying to conceive. If possible try to complete your family by 35 years.
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Is there any hope for humanity ?
Psychiatry is difficult.
The new, unusually confident patient with a very superior attitude settled on the psychiatrist 's couch. "It is our first meeting and I'm not yet aware of your problem so perhaps you should start at the very beginning".
"Of course." replied the patient. "In the very beginning, I created Heaven and Earth . . . . . . ." True story !
If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed please contact me:
Dr Richard Tomlins
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Dr Richard - Phones
Dr Richard - Flying
Reviewed 3 October 2018