Western Leader : January 6th 2011
7 WESTERN LEADER, JANUARY 6, 2011 NEWS ADVERTISEMENT Health Matters SUMMER HOLIDAYS SPELL SUNBURN CANCER & BITES We New Zealanders love our sun. We head outdoors at every opportunity. But there's a downside to the Southern Hemisphere sun. We have the one of the highest skin cancer r ates in the world. And sometimes we forget that even when it's overcast the sun's ultra violet (UV) rays get through and can harm us. Melanoma, the most usualform ofskin cancer, is most common in people withfair skin.People from ethnicgroups with naturally darker skin, such as Maori, Pacific , African and Asian peoples, have more protection from UV r ays. However, they can still get melanoma and need to be careful too. Ignoring those burn times given with the weather forecast increases the risk to over exposure to the sun which causes sunburn and can cause melanoma and other skin cancers. The best way to treat sunburn and reduce the risk of developing skin cancer is to prevent it from happening. Sunburn Prevention 1. Slip on a shirt 2. Go into the shade (especially between 11am and 4pm when the sun is at its fierce) 3. Slop on some SPF 30+ sunscreen before going outdoors --(your doctor or pharmacist can advise you which to use) 4. Reapply the sunscreen after physical activity and swimming 5. Slap on a hat -- choose a hat that will cover the back of your neck and shade your face 6. Wr ap on a pair of sunglasses -- sunglasses that wrap around are ideal as they prevent light entering from the sides The treatment of sunburn is to provide relief of the discomfort it can cause -- cool baths, light clothing and staying out of the sun. Over the counter pain relievers can be used. However, if stronger pain relief is needed, contact your doctor. If blistering occurs -- protect the blister by covering it up. Drink plenty of water as this helps with the dehydr ation that can occur with sunburn. Skin Cancer Skin cancers take time to develop, so check your body regularly throughout the year for new moles and lesions or changes to the size and composition of existing ones and see your doctor immediately you find anything new or changed. This will help early detection and can be life saving in the case of melanomas. Insect bites and stings : Insect bites or stings cause either a mild irritation or a more serious allergic re action that can be life threatening. If stung, first remove any sting. If the reaction is mild the site should be cleaned. Apply an ice pack (e.g. a pack of frozen food) to the area to reduce pain and swelling and itchiness. Use topical lotions which are specific for the itchiness and try not to scratch the area. If a bite has been scratched -- clean and cover the area. Watch for signs of infection. Some people get more severe allergic reactions. If symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, facial swelling and an itchy rash all over the body occur, seek medical treatment immediately. Simple me asures to prevent insect bites include avoiding perfume, pools of stagnant water and going out at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; covering your body with clothes in high risk areas, and, using insect repellents. Phone HealthWEST PHO (09) 839 0556 for information on HealthWEST Practices & Ser vices. 2629461AU 3311891AA Waitakere Funeral Services Poutama Tangihanga 31 Paramount Drive Henderson Phone: 835 9326 0800 loving (568 464) "Where Families Come First" Allen Pukepuke & Francis Tipene No Upfront Costs Competitive and Reasonable Funeral Costs WFS offer a 24 hour service Auckland wide We offer you and your family a professional, discreet and caring service in your time of need TOWBARS COURTESY CARS AVAILABLE b GUARANTEED BEST VALUE FOR QUALITY See more at www.nstowbars.co.nz FACTORY DIRECT 82 Diana Drive, Glenfield email@example.com Ph 09 443 5919 FREE FITTING ON ALL THULE ROOF RACKS Budget help is at hand There s no need to panic if you ve overspent this Christmas. VisionWest Budgeting Service is one of a few west Auckland organis- ations that can help you out. Manager Debbie Carswell-Griffiths says some people ignore their problems and hope their finances will come right but this is not the answer. The first thing you need to do is seek advice at a budgeting service, she says. Advisers can assist with writing up a new budget to combat debt. The next thing to do is to stop any outrageous spending, Mrs Carswell- Griffiths says. It s always good in hindsight to look at these things carefully so it doesn t happen again. She says people should be honest with debt com- panies. In my experi- ence, creditors are very accommodating as long as you show them you re making an effort. Set monthly targets and stay positive, she says. Call VisionWest Budgeting Service on 818-0714. Other budget- ing services are: CARE Waitakere Trust 834-6480. Henderson Budget Ser- vice 836-4141 Western Districts Bud- geting Service 827-5773. Te Whanau O Waipa- reira Trust Budget Ser- vice 836-6683. The continuing fight against P labs By STEPHEN FORBES P bust: The Fire Service and police at the scene of a suspected clandestine lab bust in Henderson. Photo: STEPHEN FORBES The war on P in west Auck- land continues with the num- ber of crystal methampheta- mine labs raided by police up on last year. But is the problem of crys- tal methamphetamine get- ting better or worse? Figures released by the Waitakere police show they have discovered 15 clan- destine methamphetamine labs in Waitakere city since last year. This compares to a total of 12 during the whole of 2009. The total number of clan labs (as police call them) seized in Waitakere peaked at 27 in 2005. Detective senior sergeant John Brunton works for AMCOS, the Auckland Metropolitan Crime and Operational Support unit which deals with clan labs around the country. Mr Brunton says it s hard to say whether the increase is because there are more illegal drug manufacturing operations or they are finally getting on top of the problem. There s always going to be highs and lows, he says. If we target the clan labs and meth cooks you ll find the labs. He says areas like west and south Auckland have always been known hotspots. Mr Brunton says it s hard to say whether the pseudoe- phedrine being used is sourced locally or from over- seas. Pseudoephedrine is one of those key ingredients that doesn t hang around long, he says. As soon as they get it they start cooking. But Mr Brunton says anec- dotal evidence suggests the cooks are using more imported pseudoephedrine from China instead of the locally sourced material pre- viously bought or stolen from chemists. Especially in the bigger, more commercial labs, he says. It s better for them to have one source or supply instead of driving around 40 or 50 chemists. But we re also finding more of the domestic or addiction-based labs. He says such operations usually involve a criminal cooking for themselves and a small group of associates. They ll often sell enough of the finished product to main- tain their habit and continue to buy the necessary chemicals and precursors to make a new batch. New Zealand Drug Foun- dation executive director Ross Bell says while the amount of methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine seized by police and customs has increased -- it s far too simple to say they are winning the war on the drug. The foundation has been running a website called MethHelp for more than a year. It includes a helpline for users trying to kick the habit and has been funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the government s action plan on methampheta- mine. Our view is that it s really good that police and customs are putting more effort into it, he says. But if we want to get on top of the problem we need to put more resources into prevention, education and treatment. Mr Bell says the foun- dation backs the government s plans to make all pseudoephedrine-based products prescription-only medicines. And he says many of the country s chemists are already voluntarily removing pseudoephedrine based products from their shelves. But Mr Bell says this will only have a short-term effect. If police try and crack down on domestic supply through chemists there will be an increase in imported precursors coming across our borders. Mr Brunton says Contac NT is a major source of pseudoephedrine used by cooks. The cold medicine can only be bought in New Zealand under tightly controlled con- ditions, but is freely available in China. One kilogram of the pseudoephedrine-based drug can make 280 grams of P, with a street value of about $113,000. Recently released figures show the New Zealand Cus- toms Service seized a record 1.2 tonnes of pseudoephed- rine in 2009. Police dismantled 105 clan labs nationwide in the year to October 2010 -- 11 more than in the same period last year. But Mr Bell says recent surveys suggest the number of P users is falling. He says there was a notice- able growth in the use of crys- tal methamphetamine about 10 years ago when it first hit the local drug scene, but in the past five years the num- ber of users has dropped. He says that is partly due to the work of police and cus- toms, but also because many New Zealanders have seen first-hand the ugly effects of the drug.
December 30th 2010
January 11th 2011