Grieving Parents Warn about the Dangers of Teen “Pill Parties”

Parents of teenagers these days have to deal with multiple challenges including a dangerous trend that has been growing lately, and that is ‘skittles’ or pill parties.

Unsuspecting children are stealing meds from bathroom or kitchen cabinets and using them to party, blissfully unaware of the life-threatening risks.

Kristen Fuller from Psychology Today explains that these parties, known as skittles, have a pretty basic concept, but their effect can be deadly.

Teenagers take some of the meds they find in their homes and add it to a bowl with other meds brought by peers. The meds are the “main attraction” at the party happening in someone’s backyard or house.

The teenagers pick a random pill from the bowl with the goal to get high, not knowing that being prescribed by doctors or purchased without a prescription in the nearest pharmacy does not mean that the meds are safe.

Unfortunately, Fuller emphasizes that these pills can be highly dangerous and even deadly when not taken properly or when misused.

Parents worry about the safety and well-being of their teenagers and have all the right; despite the lack of sufficient evidence to call skittles parties a widespread phenomenon, according to Huffington Post, abuse of medications among young people is very common and we need to address and minimize it.

If you are a parent of a teenager, you probably know that it’s normal for them to want to go to parties and spend time with friends.

However, what happens if they find themselves at a pill party? Since teenagers are known to be very curious, they may reach for these meds just to “see how it feels” and put their lives at risk.

Motivated by the grief of parents who have lost their children to skittles parties, this must-read article focuses on raising awareness amongst parents about these dangerous parties. We will also present;

6 vital tips to decrease the risk of drug abuse in your teenager and highlight 14 warning signs that abuse may be occurring.

The Life-Threatening Effects of Pill Parties

These teen parties have taken too many young lives, including that of kids who were not necessarily frequent drug users or drug addicts.

For some of the teenagers, it was a first-time that they experimented with drugs and this was fatal for them, according to Drug Rehab.

In addition to overdose, teenagers who take part in such parties are at a higher risk of heart attacks, brain damage, and strokes, Fuller explains.

And, ER doctors often find it difficult to determine the combination of meds that the person has taken and thus, give appropriate therapy, which further delays and lowers the chances for a successful outcome.

Wanting to alter their minds, feel part of the group, and have a good time, teenagers end up making poor choices at these parties. They mix all kinds of pills with alcohol without a clue about the effect they can have on them.

Teenagers Can Easily Access Pills

Unfortunately, as the sales of pharmaceutical drugs are booming, teenagers can now access and abuse prescription meds more than ever before.

Here is how your teenager may be coming into contact with prescribed meds without your knowledge, as noted on Contemporary Pediatrics:

• Steal it from your home (this could be from the cabinet where you are keeping your family’s meds)

• Buy them using their allowance, (often for a much lower price than cocaine and marijuana), from drug dealers, strangers or friends

• They have been prescribed the medication/s themselves

What Types of Meds Are the most Abused Ones?

• Opioids like vicodin, oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone, and codeine

• Benzodiazepines such as ativan, valium, and xanax

• Amphetamine-like meds such as adderall and Ritalin

6 Useful Tips for Parents of Teenagers

1. Talk with your teenager regularly

Parents or caregivers of a teenager should have an important conversation to explain them the dangers of abusing prescription meds and drugs.

Remember to work on maintaining a strong relationship with your growing child that will enable both sides to be open and honest and have productive conversations.

This will better the child’s decision-making capacity when they find themselves in challenging situations, for example, at a pill party.

Communicate with him/her and find out how they are passing their free time, where they are going, and what kind of people they are hanging out with.

2. Keep your meds away from your teenager
When it comes to drug use, a lot of parents may think that “My boy/girl will never do drugs!” and therefore, do not pay attention to where they keep their prescribed meds.

But, teenagers are known for being unpredictable, especially when pressured by peers or because they want to feel “accepted”.

And, they may end up doing the thing you least thought they would. So, it is good to play it safe- make sure you keep any meds in your home out of their reach.

And, inform your closest relatives and friends to do the same. Also, inform yourself about how they are spending their allowance.

3. Pay attention to your teenager’s health

It is not uncommon for teenagers to reach for drugs- regardless of whether these are prescribed meds or illegal substances- when they become more conscious of their body and feel as if they need to be slimmer.