Because the abuse of prescription drugs are becoming so common and widespread throughout the United States I think it's important for parents to realize that "pill parties" or sometimes called "pharm parties" do take place among teens and parents need to be aware. I realize most young people don't understand just how dangerous prescriptions drugs are when they're abused but these type parties are extremely frightening.
Pharma parties involve friends getting together at someone's house and mixing a bowl of various prescription drugs together and consuming them while they party. Sometimes people take handfuls of this "trail mix of prescription drugs "and consume them at one time. These are prescription drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin and Xanax among others and they're all mixed together creating a deadly assortment of pills to party with.
Prescription drugs and over the counter medications are commonly abused today more than ever before and many young people are experimenting with them because they're easy to find, inexpensive and legal. It's frightening to think that young people may be hanging out at pill popping parties together and parents may not even be aware they exist.
Prescription painkillers, designer drugs like ecstasy and prescription stimulants like Ritalin are dangerous enough to abuse on their own. When drugs like these are combined they're a deadly mixture and many young people have lost their lives overdosing this way. I couldn't believe they actually have names for bowls or baggies of assorted pills called "trail mix" and that getting medications from your medicine cabinet at home is called "pharming".
We focus a lot on young people attending raves, concerts and dance clubs using club drugs like ecstasy, meth and Rohypnol and we have to because so many young people are risking their lives taking these drugs. It's sad to think that we also have to worry about our teens and young adults attending pill parties as well.
It's more important now than ever before to know where your teens are and what they're doing and equally important to lock up prescription drugs and medications so they don't get into the wrong hands. Pain medications are very easy to get hold of and most homes have prescription painkillers in the medicine cabinet due to surgery, dental problems, or injury.
Sometimes kids start out experimenting with prescription pain pills like Vicodin or Percocet's to be cool and see what it's like to be high and the next thing you know they're addicted and attending pharma parties. Most of the time kids either get them from their own home or from a friend's home and many parents are totally unaware that their missing.
None of us want to think that our children would experiment with prescription drugs to get high but it happens all the time. It's sad to think that we have to lock up our medicine cabinets today but it's better to be safe than sorry. Home isn't the only place young people get these drugs from either they can get them just as easy from friends. It's not always easy but be aware of where your adolescents and teens are and who they're hanging out with. Never stop communicating with your kids about substance use and if you suspect they're using drugs, there's a good chance they are. These pill parties may be more common than we think and parents need to be aware they exist.