They call it a “pharm” party. No, it is not pin-the-tail on the donkey. Bored, in the mood to experiment, feeling like adults teens get together and put all the prescription medication they can find in the house in a big bowl and start taking pills. It is a “pharmacy” party and it can be deadly!
Teens’ testing the next new thing is not new; just look back to the “baby boomers” and their experimentation with LSD, cocaine, and marijuana. Self medicating with interesting plants and roots is as old as man. The rub, today’s “pharm” parties are likely to kill before the night is out especially it they are mixed with alcohol.
Teens know that over-the-counter medications and certainly, prescription medication have effects on the body. They know that most of the medications in an average family’s medicine cabinet have many potential mind altering effects. Little Johnny takes Ritalin for his ADHD and teenage brother Marc is pretty sure that if one is good, three or four is better. “Mom’s Xanax makes her mellow and happy, think of the high I can get. Here let’s mix them together, it will be cool” is truly scary.
All medications have effects. That is what they are designed for, to affect the person taking them in a particular way. Blood pressure medicine should lower blood pressure, anti-depressant should lift the mood, and insulin should lower the blood sugar. These medications also have bad or negative side effects even taken as written: sedation, nausea, confusion, lightheadedness, memory loss are just a few examples. Overdosing (too many) or mixing medications increases the risk of respiratory failure (stop breathing) and death exponentially.
Talk to your teens and be an example. If our parents take a medication for anything and everything a child will learn that this is normal. Normal means okay, okay means I can do it too. Is that the message you want to convey. Use medications properly, if one is good, two is NOT better. It is like speed limits, the amount limit is there for a reason and taking more is like running off the road. Lock up medications. Not a cheap locking drawer, a real lock to protect small children and your teens. Out of sight is out of mind.
Ask you’re teen why they want to get high? You might be surprised by the answers. The answer should not lead to a pharm party. Be safe.