Many Teenagers Having Pharm Parties With Prescription DrugsPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Prescription drugs are quickly becoming the drug of choice for many teenagers.
"Prescription drugs have become the black sheep of the drug world," said Ron McHenry with the Boys and Girls Club.
Ron McHenry says teens are now having so called pharm parties, as in pharmacy. He says teens usually bring a bag with different kinds of prescription pills.
"They end up in a big bowl at the center of the table, mix them altogether and kids reach in and they grab one or two pills and they take them," said McHenry.
Not knowing what could happen.
"At the pharm party you don't have all the little medicine bottles saying take with food, drink with milk, don't drink with alcohol, so they don't know what that combination potentially could be," said McHenry.
A combination that turned deadly for one young man in Benton City last January. 15-year-old Stephen Pheasant, was found dead at a friend's house.
The Benton County Coroner says it was an accidental death. Pheasant mixed alcohol with Citalopram, an anti-depressant and Oxymorphone, a pain killer.
In addition to being potentially deadly, having pills without a prescription is also illegal.
"It's against the law to abuse or use medications as not prescribed," said Andrea Zabilka, with Somerset Counseling Center.
Kennewick Police say having as many as one pill that isn't prescribed is a felony. Andrea Zabilka works closely with teens at the Benton County Juvenile Center.
She says parental communication is key.
"Parents play a key role in making sure that those medications aren't relatively available to them," said Zabilka.