"Pharming parties" put teenagers at risk for prescription drug abuse

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) Teenagers across the country are throwing "pharming parties" where they take a variety of prescription drugs.

Lori Eden, a Counselor for the Medical Withdraw Respite at the Bridge in Lincoln said, "Another term, an older term is skittling, throw a bunch of prescription drugs into one pot and let people take a handful. It can be really dangerous."

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol.

Eden said, "Parents need to be aware. They need to not assume oh my child would never do that, because anybody's child could."

She said, "It happens in this area. I don't know if I want to say it's common."

Eden said kids will bring their own prescription drugs to a party that are prescribed to them, but when they take other drugs along with those it is a dangerous experience.

"In part because then kids are taking those at parties and they show up in ER's and nobody can say well what have they taken? Well we don't know, it was a party where everyone put their stuff in a candy dish."

Parents are recommended to have a real honest conversation with their children. Eden said, "Say hey, I hear there are kids that have tried prescription drugs, is that something that your friends are doing?"

Eden said she does not think that kids know what they are getting into. "They know it's grandma's pain meds, but they don't know what is it, how much is it, they don't know how does this compare to the pain meds I got when I broke my arm last summer. They aren't thinking of all they, they aren't aware of all that."

Experts like Eden recommend parents lock up their prescription medication and avoid leaving it out in the open.