Sunday, March 29, 2009


(This blog is written to inform parents & others of the disturbing trends of teenagers.)

Pharming parties - "A national trend in teen drug use where high school and middle school age children scour their parents' medicine cabinets for pharmaceuticals and pool their pills at parties, where they take random handfuls of the legally prescribed drugs."

At one time, kids raided their parents' liquor cabinet when they wanted to get high. Today, it's their medicine cabinet. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University estimates that 2.3 million children ages 12 to 17 take legal prescription drugs illegally every year.

For these parties, teens take whatever drugs they can get, combine them in a bag or bowl (pharming them out), taking handfuls at one time, and they have no idea what very dangerous interactions these drugs have. These parties are usually held while the parents are out of the house.

  • 1 in 5 teens abuse Vicodin
  • 1 in 10 teens abuse OxyContin
  • 1 in 10 teens abuse Ritalin and/or Adderall
  • 1 in 11 teens abuse OTC cough medicines

Prescription drugs have dangerous side effects, but these effects and dangers are intensified when combined with other prescription drugs, alcohol or illegal street drugs. Kids are mixing "uppers" and "downers" while drinking alcoholic beverages for a "high". The wrong combination can be deadly; breathing can become difficult or there can be a rapid drop or increase in heart rate.


  • 62% - Easy to get
  • 52% - Available
  • 51% - Not illegal
  • 49% - Can claim their prescription if caught

Compared with the rest of their peers, teens who abuse prescription drugs are...

  • Twice as likely to use alcohol
  • 5 times more likely to use marijuana
  • 12 times more likely to use heroin
  • 15 times more likely to use Ecstasy
  • 21 times more likely to use cocaine


  • Pain relievers are known as: "Big boys", "cotton" & "kickers"
  • Sedatives are known as: "Chill pills", "tranq" & "french fries"
  • "Trail Mix": Name given for the mixture of various prescriptions served together at pharming parties.
  • The "recipe": The combination of drugs served with alcohol.


  • Grades drop
  • Looses interest in activities and hobbies
  • Changes friends, appearance, or behavior (a BIG Red Flag)
  • Eating and sleeping patterns change
  • Medicines disappear from the house or medicine cabinet, with no explanation
  • Signs of drug abuse, such as slurred speech, dilated pupils, sweating, nausea, vomiting


  • Educate yourself about what kids are abusing, including prescription drugs.
  • Don't be afraid to talk to kids about trends at school.
  • Monitor Internet use - another major source of prescription drugs - monitor mail for unexplained packages.
  • Educate yourself and other parents. Too many parents are not aware of the possibility of this kind of abuse.
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet. Discard left-over and expired medications, either by burning them or placing them in coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are acidic & will desolve the pills. There are only certain pills that can safely be flushed without "drugging" the water supply.
  • Talk to your teen about the dangers and your expectations. Teens need to hear that abusing prescription or OTC drugs is not safe and can result in death.

If you wonder if talking to your teen will have an impact, be assured that parents are a major force in the lives of their teens and children. 2/3 of teens say that losing their parents respect and pride was one of the main reasons they didn't use drugs.

If you are a parent of a teen, you probably already monitor your liquor cabinet (if you drink of course), but it's your medicine cabinet you need to worry about, especially if you are prescribed drugs for pain relief, anxiety or hyperactivity. Keep those medications locked and out of reach of your teens.




alcoholism teenager said...

Anything can happen on a party. Temptations all around. Parents should pay attention.


Anonymous said...

That is so scary!

DirtyLAWndry said...

This is crazy! I don't have teenagers yet, but I worry what the teens will be doing in ten years. I will definitely try to stay on top of my kids.

KatBouska said...

Drugs sounded really good until you added ritalin to the mix...crack is much better.

Golfersmom said...

That is scary. I found your blog on Twitter Mom's Look forward to reading your blog.

sober buddies said...

I'm fearful of increases in prescription drug abuse, thanks for posting the stats.

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

Turning Winds helps Parents said...

Wow, teens nowadays has th most dangerous trends ever. Parents should be aware of the kind of activities their teens get into, as much as possible, they should know who their kid's friends are. If there are already signs that they're involve in such activity, help should be immediately given to stop this. Thanks for the warning.

Anonymous said...

I am currently a pharmacy student and know some of the effects that medications have when used separately and together and I am appalled that some students not much younger than myself are doing this to their bodies! I think lack of information about what the drugs their taking do is a major factor here:(

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personal injury attorney Brazoria said...

This new party trend among teenagers is very alarming. The effects of abusing prescription drugs are very adverse. Parents should openly communicate with their children regarding this so that they can avoid in engaging to this dangerous fad.

Victoria Kidsman said...

We see lots of teenager parties and with drugs and alcohol so widely used, we often see disaster!
Recently we went to two teenager reptile parties where a snake handler turned up and let the kids play with reptiles for pretty much the whole evening. The kids got into the animals and were remarkably well behaved throughout as their attention was diverted by the animals instead of into drink and drugs.
In summary it was good clean educational fun and comes highly recommended.

criminal attorney Houston said...

This party trend is really very disturbing. Indeed, the combination of different prescription drugs may result to several serious side effects. Thank you for sharing this post. Parent should really learn from this and be more cautious about the activities of their children. I do hope that teenagers will also be alarmed with this and avoid getting involved in such activities. Better yet, they should be encouraged to provide information about such kinds of parties.

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