'Pharm' parties on rise in area (Stupid, stupid people...)

By Bajeda · Aug 9, 2006 · ·
  1. Bajeda


    The Events Can Expose Participants To A Potentially Deadly Mix Of Drugs

    By Harold Gwin

    YOUNGSTOWN -- They call it pharming, but young people who engage in the practice aren't planting a field of corn or plowing the back 40 acres.

    They're taking prescription drugs from the family medicine cabinet or from grandma's nightstand to take to a pharm party.

    Pharm is short for pharmaceuticals, which can cover a wide variety of prescription medications. These might include painkillers like OxyContin, Fentanyl and Vicodin and sedatives like Xanax. Mind-altering drugs like Zoloft or Prozac might also be added to the mix.

    At pharm parties, the drugs are tossed into a bowl or bag, creating a potentially lethal mix of drugs, and the partygoers help themselves to the stuff -- often washing it down with alcohol.

    Area police departments said they've heard of that type of activity, but none contacted by The Vindicator said they'd actually been called to investigate one.

    But they are here, according to local drug and alcohol counselors.

    "They do exist. They're definitely happening," said Bob Wissinger, a program director at the Adolescent Treatment Center in Niles.

    His agency works with eight Northeast Ohio counties.

    They call it a party, but there's no glamour in it despite how television and other media might portray the activity, Wissinger said.

    It is more typically a suburban practice, said Doug Wentz, director of Prevention Partners Plus, a joint venture between Meridian Services and Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic.

    It's a matter of availability, authorities say. People who live in the suburbs generally have more money available to spend on visits to the doctor and prescription drugs. Kids don't have to go out on the street to buy marijuana or other illegal substances, but can just raid the family medicine chest for drugs.

    Increasing awareness

    Wentz said reports of area pharm parties began over the past year.

    "This just is becoming commonplace," he said, noting the practice isn't limited to teenagers. Adults are doing it too, he said, with some visiting real estate open houses at homes for sale and stealing drugs from medicine cabinets there.

    Kids think that, because the drugs are prescribed by a doctor, they're safe to ingest, said a drug counselor at a local agency who asked that his last name not be used and that his agency not be identified.

    "It can be real dangerous. You're basically rolling the dice," he said, explaining that those who attend the parties could be mixing uppers with downers and could easily ingest a lethal mixture of drugs.

    His agency has dealt with some young people who have overdosed while engaging in this type of activity. No one died, but they had no idea what drugs they had taken, the drug counselor said.

    Police in Hermitage, Pa., reported the death of a 19-year-old man a year ago who had taken methadone pills he'd bought from a kid who stole them from his mother. The victim was at a party and mixed alcohol with the drug and died, police said.

    Police in the region say they have noticed an increase in the numbers of teens and adults being caught with prescription drugs that don't belong to them, but they haven't had any calls to investigate a pharm party.

    Police might not be getting calls to a party, but they do hear about things kids are doing, said Tom Johnson, Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer for the Poland Township Police Department.

    "I can't say we've come across that specifically," Paul Lasky, D.A.R.E. officer in Canfield, said of pharm parties. It does, however, appear that the interest in prescription drugs is stronger than years ago and arrests for illegal possession of pills are up in recent years, he said.

    "Kids don't know what they're getting themselves into. There's a lot of strong drugs out there," Lasky said.

    There have been reports about kids taking drugs from their parents, said Detective Michelle DiMartino, D.A.R.E. officer in Boardman. They think it's safe because the drugs are from a doctor, she said.

    Parents need to know where their kids are and make sure they are supervised, Wentz said, adding that they should also make sure their prescription drugs are safely secured.

    "Parent involvement is huge," Wissinger said, explaining that parents can have a major impact on a child's behavior.

    Talk to and get involved with your children, Wissinger advised. If a parent sees signs of drug use, such as a child suddenly acting or behaving differently, they should get help. Don't ignore it, he said.

    Flush your unused medicines. Know what you have and keep an eye on it.


    This article shows a definite need for better (or any) education about prescription drugs that are so commonly available in the US (and other countries).

    The US truly is a drug culture even if it doesn't want to admit it and keeping quiet about the major hypocrisy of the drug war just fuels ignorant and dangerous activities such as the one described above.

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  1. Beeker
    The news paper will always report white middle-upper class kids who OD as just an allergy or severe reaction to medication not known before. In my town some poor 18 year old girl died when she passed out from alcohol and crashed into a field killing her. The final report stated that the girl had lost control without a seatbelt and was dead on the scene. No mention of the wine and vodka bottle at the scene or the smell.

    Just some white 18 year old who lost control of her car.

    I really should find a way to laugh at the system not feel shame. :(
  2. radiometer
    This is some preposterous crap made up by a newpaper reporter with too much time on their hands and not enough news.

    Yes, more kids these days are using prescription drugs. There seems to be a mistaken perception that they are "safer" than illicit drugs. No, there is no trend where kids are dumping pills out into bowls like candy at "pharming" parties. This article is about as true to life as the recently posted article about okra-plugging parties.

    On another drug forum, where many underage US users congregate, this article was the subject of much ridicule.
  3. angeliclight
    I'm a teacher as some people know. High school and middle school kids are not challanged enough with their studies or activities. Those who are not involved in academics or activities need to be supported by their parents. Unfortunately, these kids and the "rich" ones are so keyed up with everything going on in their neighborhoods, in the world, in THEIR worlds, that it's very difficult for them to keep in touch with reality. So, they take risks, push the envelope. If anyone is listening, they actually talk about doing it. These Pharm parties are the easiest way to get high or low..or die. some of these kids are wise to drugs and their effects...kids who have been diagnosed as ADD, ADHD for years. They know what their drugs do for them and what they can do for other's. All we can do is listen, and communicate, and that is what parents need to do. If a kid doesn't have parents that are reliable, then teacher's have to step up their game even more than they are already required to do. After all, we abide by the law: en locus parenti (sp. ha, haven't written it down in awhile). Basically that means, we are parents in place of parents. Keep your drugs locked up, even Robotussin etc. Look through kids bags, and ask questions. Call the parents of the house where they are going to stay over night. Even when they are seniors in high school. Take nothing for granted. Kids will experiment, but at least you can keep it under wraps and educate them as much as possible before they are set loose in the world. I'm not saying shelter them. There is a fine line in what parent's should be doing as kids move towards 17, 18. Anyway, that's from a teacher's mouth. I swear they will love your for it later.
  4. KorSare
    Perhaps the author of the article above is the same person who writes the script for CSI New York.

    I was watching an episode at my girlfriend's house the other night, which prettry much depicted what the article describes - a bunch of teens who empty prescription drug bottles into a large glass bowl, and over the course of their "pharm party," pick out various pills of different shapes and sizes, and wash it down with what appears to be wine.

    Of course, the participants seem to be having a great time - no one appears drowsy or severely ill... i recall at one point, a boy says (something along these lines):

    "Can't you die from this?"

    And his female counterpart replies: "That's the fun."

    But the kids don't die from downing adderals, oxycontins, a few lorazepams, maybe a rohypnol.... and two or three fentanyl patches left to soak in their fine cabernet sauvignon (over the course of a few hours)... they end up living long enough to be gunned down execution style by a psychotic murderer.

    I live in the Vancouver region, and do not know anyone in any circles that participates in "pharming," nor have I seen or heard anything in the papers or local news that remotely comes close to what this article is reporting.

    So if such a problem does exist somewhere out there, maybe the proper authorities should turn their attention to the real cause of all life's problems: CSI New York.

    (The episode's title is Manhattan Manhunt, for those interested)
  5. darawk
    I've never heard of anything like this, and from the looks of it, neither have any of you. If this shit we're actually going on, kids would be dying left and right and it'd be all over the news.
  6. Riconoen {UGC}
    This article is bullshit of the highest order. As someone else siad if this were actually going on it would be getting a lot more media attention, yes kids experiment with thier grandmas vicodin and thier add meds but jesus christ monkey balls handing them out like candy at some party? preposterous.
  7. AntiAimer
    Smurf see's the problem, but would love to go to a pharm party. They throw it all in a bag so anyone can grab as they please....sounds fun. What are these 12 yr olds? Smurf knows, he would never take random drugs in random quaintys no matter what age. Smurf wants a drug induced high, not a drug induced death. If this was even remotely true, kids OD rates in the area would rise to 10000%, assumeing there like most and wont even think twice before downing 20 random pills.

    ??? Smurf has taken 600mg of zoloft without mind altering. If it was a true antidepressant, then maybe yes mind altering. But, it works for long term not short. Anyone takeing this for recreational purposes will be disappointed. In Smurfs eyes, the word 'antidepressant' with drugs associated with the word, can be highly misleading.

    Ummmmmmm....so there saying these people need to get a new realtor. Open houses may be open but not if the realtor is not there. So it would be kinda hard to steal meds when the realtor is on your back the whole time since there supposed to be showing the house, not sitting on there arses. This statement makes it sound like, "Up for grabs". When in fact some 007 should have to acure.

    Hate how they always assume this and tell the public this. Kids think diet soda is safe not perscriptions. They've did this with almost every drug, trying to mislead people to the real reasons. Like just getting high and not careing, since most wont become everyday users. Or the fact there LEGAL. Also being a kid, they already think there superman. So all that plus they see some new prescription drug commercial telling them they need it on T.V. While the government tells them a plant is illegal and that it's as bad as meth or heroin. What else is a ignorant kid supposed to think? Weed or the oxycontin in there cabinet....hmmmm.
    It's all just a illusion, let's blame the true instigators.

    If this article truely cared, then it would have atleast stated...something on the lines of, "These kids should atleast research drugs they take before doing so." Increasing awareness indeed. Wakeing up and smelling reality. Your kids going to get high one way or another, might as well be a industrial made drug then a basement made one. Really all these articles do is, pursway kids into doing harder, worse body damaging drugs. Yeah let's make parents aware of there son or daughter stealing meds from the cabinet, makeing it harder for them to get drugs while leading them back to the black market. Where they can get all kinds of things and become at even higher risk of something bad happening. Which then can fund another reaction called the law. All leading to events that truely will make the persons life, worse. Makeing them yet another drug statistic, only provideing to that illsuion that the drug war is working? YEAH!!! Thats the ticket.

    Parents can definitely alter the outcome, with alttile understanding and compensation. In this day and age, this should already be happening. But fails to happen. The 'better' approach which has prooven to 'work' so many times is taken instead(Like someone stated above me). Just say NO!!! G/J!

    Smurf has also came to the conclusion like others, that this article truely is a load of grade A BS!
  8. Nagognog2
    Seems this has had it's 15 minutes of fame. So......
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