We promise not to tell your kids, but….
Remember when you were a teenager?
Just between us, you may have gone to a party or two in your younger days. A party with a beer keg or two, and maybe a couple other mostly herbal substances being passed around. And as your teen heads out the door to “hang out” at a friend’s house, is this what you are picturing as the worse-case scenario for their party activities?
Teens today are going to parties, just like they always have. And, just like generations of teens did before them, they may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol while they are there.
Teens partying is nothing new.
What is new are the drugs they are experimenting with while they are there.
- In the 60s and 70s, teens partied with alcohol and marijuana.
- In the 80s, teens partied with alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.
- In the 90s, teens partied with “club drugs” like ecstasy, alcohol, and cocaine.
Today’s drug of choice is prescription pain medication. It’s being abused by kids and teens in every corner of the US, in every demographic, and at an alarming rate.
To say that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions would be an understatement.
In the last ten years, stimulant prescriptions have increased from 5 million to 45 million, and opioid (painkiller) prescriptions have increased from 30 million to 180 million.
What does this mean? It means that a ton of prescription drugs are floating around out there, and are easily accessible to curious teens.
“The increased availability of these drugs, coupled with general misperceptions regarding the safety of ‘doctor-prescribed’ medications, has led to exponential growth of drug users, as well as drug abusers.” - DrugAbuse.com
Prescription drug use is becoming so popular with teens that there is even a name for parties where teens get, trade, and use pills:
What is “pharming”?
Pharming, pharm parties, pharming parties, or just a party… whatever you call it, today’s teens are swapping pills at it.
Pharm parties are where teens trade prescription medicines, and often mix pills with alcohol or other drugs to get high.
“If I have something good, like Oxycontin, it might be worth two or three Xanax,” admits a 17-year old party-goer. “We rejoice when someone has a medical thing, like, gets their wisdom teeth out or has back pain, because we know we’ll get pills. Last year I had gum surgery, and I thought, ‘Well, at least I’ll get painkillers… My friend told me to save the painkillers for when I’m drinking or getting high.'”
Prescription painkillers, sedatives, stimulants, and ADHD medications are the most popular pills that teens are seeking out these days. And getting their hands on them is often as simple as sneaking a pill or two from a parent’s medicine cabinet.