Kids today think that because it’s prescribed by a doctor, it must be safer than illegal drugs. They can also be easier to get since they are often found in bathrooms and on bedside tables. And for that reason, prescription medications are rapidly becoming a teen’s drug of choice.
A new trend called “pharm parties” has hit the teen party scene. Pharm is short for pharmaceuticals, or prescription drugs. Teens bring prescription drugs from their house or purchased online and pool them all together in a bowl on a table. Popular drugs found at pharming parties include stimulants Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine; pain relievers such as Oxycontin, or Codeine; and sedatives and tranquilizers. Then the teens take a variety of pills, from a few to several, and experiment with what effects they have when mixed together.
These effects can prove deadly. When prescription medications are taken out of the bottles, there is no longer a warning label that indicates how many a person should take, or what other drugs and foods should or shouldn’t be taken with certain medications. The result can be a trip to the emergency room, or worse, the coroner.
We tell you about this so you are aware of what pharm parties are and which drugs are commonly brought to them. Talk to your teens and warn them about the dangers associated with not taking prescriptions as prescribed. Prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal street drugs, especially when combined with other drugs or alcohol.
Keep medications such as pain relievers, sedatives, and tranquilizers locked up so they aren’t accessible to your family or even visitors. If your child has a prescription such as a stimulant or even a pain reliever, talk to them about the dangers of sharing it – someone could get hurt by taking medication that isn’t prescribed for him or her.
Children are less at-risk for dangerous behavior when parents communicate their expectations and talk about the effects of substance abuse. The danger of substance abuse is not only the impact it has on your body, but the most affected organ is your brain. When a person abuses a substance such as drugs or alcohol, their brain produces large amounts of dopamine, which triggers the brain’s reward system. After repeated drug use, the brain is unable to produce normal amounts of dopamine on its own and this creates the unintended consequence of addiction.
The following are signs of possible drug use or addiction:
- Rapidly changing grades for the worse
- Glazed expressions
- Abandoning friends
- Abandoning social activities
- Being evasive with answers
- Behavioral changes such as jittery in the morning and calmer in the evening
- Memory problems
- Rapid fluctuation in weight
- More sickness due to a suppressed immune system. Inhaled drugs can also lead to respiratory problems.
Village Pharmacy is having another Drug Take-Back Day April 25, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. It’s a great way to get those old, expired, and unused medications out of your house and keep your family safe.