The Health News Australia January 9 2018

  • Western Australia plans to follow other states by introducing ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws where children won’t be accepted into early learning or day care facilities unless they are vaccinated. Under the new regulations, parents must provide a medical reason as to why their child is not vaccinated. There will also be stricter regulations on “doctor shopping”, in which they shop around to find a doctor who will provide a conscientious objection letter.
  • Roughly 1 in 5 students drop out of university in Australia in their first year. Students with prior emotional difficulties, who are doing their degrees part-time, mature age at entry, or from a lower socioeconomic status background are most likely to be in this category. Not all of these factors can be changed. But there are ways parents and students can prepare for the transition to university. Students who have previously struggled with emotional difficulties or mental health problems are particularly at risk.
  • The spotlight has been thrown on the pharmaceutical drug hyoscine after it was linked to the mass overdose of a group of Perth backpackers who snorted a mysterious substance sent to them in the mail. The drug is typically used in much smaller quantities to treat conditions such as travel sickness, marketed under brands such as Kwells and Travacalm. But experts say the amount of hyoscine included in these over-the-counter medications is far too small to be dangerous, or illegal any kind of drug high.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/01/07/22/23/western-australia-set-to-introduce-no-jab-no-play-laws

Western Australia plans to follow other states by introducing ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws where children won’t be accepted into early learning or day care facilities unless they are vaccinated.
Under the new regulations, parents must provide a medical reason as to why their child is not vaccinated. There will also be stricter regulations on “doctor shopping”, in which they shop around to find a doctor who will provide a conscientious objection letter.
….
Australian Medical Association federal president Doctor Michael Gannon said doctor shopping is not a healthy thing for parents to be doing. Perth parents Catherine and Greg Hughes lost their four-week-old son Riley to whooping cough in two thousand fifteen. Missis Hughes was unaware of the risk and had not been vaccinated during pregnancy. The couple believe the vaccination crackdown is long overdue.
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The ‘No Jab, No Play’ laws are likely to be rolled in Western Australia sometime this year once a national agreement is reached at the Council of Australian Governments.
https://theconversation.com/early-intervention-is-key-to-support-students-with-anxiety-about-starting-university-89446

Roughly one in five students drop out of university in Australia in their first year. Students with prior emotional difficulties, who are doing their degrees part-time, mature age at entry, or from a lower socioeconomic status background are most likely to be in this category. Not all of these factors can be changed. But there are ways parents and students can prepare for the transition to university. Students who have previously struggled with emotional difficulties or mental health problems are particularly at risk. But the earlier the strategies to support these students are put in place, the more likely they are to succeed.

Starting university is a common cause of heightened stress. There are many new challenges to overcome, such as adjusting to a new learning environment that has less personalised assistance and greater emphasis on independent learning. It’s also challenging to be in a course with hundreds of other students you don’t know. Most students adjust to these challenges, and the stress they experience should be temporary. But those who find change difficult, who worry excessively about their performance, or are fearful of public speaking or exams are likely to find transitioning to university particularly challenging.
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Fortunately, anxiety can be treated. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the treatment of choice for anxiety-related problems. Cognitive behavioural therapy teaches people to change unhelpful thinking, and to face fears over eight to twelve weeks. Learning how to manage anxiety takes time and practice, so it’s not helpful to wait until stress levels are at a peak before seeking help.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-04/what-is-hyoscine-drug-linked-to-mass-backpacker-overdose-perth/9304214

The spotlight has been thrown on the pharmaceutical drug hyoscine after it was linked to the mass overdose of a group of Perth backpackers who snorted a mysterious substance sent to them in the mail. The drug is typically used in much smaller quantities to treat conditions such as travel sickness, marketed under brands such as Kwells and Travacalm.

But experts say the amount of this drug included in these over-the-counter medications is far too small to be dangerous, or cause any kind of drug high. Stronger doses of hyoscine can also be prescribed by doctors to treat more extreme cases of nausea. The drug works by impacting neurotransmitters, which carry messages between a person’s brain and nervous system.
Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute Professor Steve Allsop said that, when abused, the drug can carry severe risks.
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In its medication form, hyoscine is commonly taken as a tablet, but when abused it can be crushed and inhaled. Professor Allsop said it is not a commonly abused drug in Australia, but there has been concern about hyoscine abuse in the British prison system.

The professor was surprised hyoscine was identified in this week’s mass overdose involving nine backpackers, as he had not heard of the drug’s widespread availability in Australia.

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