Teen Pill Popping Parties

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Updated: 3/17/2009 10:02 pm Published: 3/17/2009 9:27 pm

When you think of party favors you probably think of toys or candy for kids.

But for many teens party favors include bags of prescription drugs.

In a Fox 23 Solving Problems investigation Abbie Alford reports the deadly trend of pill parties.

There’s plenty of short names for pharmaceutical parties, “pharm, skittle or salad” parties.

These prescription drugs are a pass to get into the party and it’s a dangerous mixture of colorful pills.

Drugs strong enough for cancer patients are being used at school and at pill parties where pills are passed around in bowls or bags.

“They’re called party favors,” says “Jimmy”.

Many kids say they are getting the drugs at home.

"My parents had a very extensive medicine cabinet," says “Jenny”. 

If it’s not in mom, dad, or grandma’s medicine cabinet all the teens have to do is go to a pill party.

It’s like networking for teens.

"The drugs are available in our schools. They are available in our neighborhoods. It's other kids that are sharing," says Sareva Greenhaw.

Greenhaw didn’t find out about these pill parties until her 16-year-old son Cody Greenhaw died from an overdose.

At a high school party Cody got his hands on Valium and the fast acting pain medication Methadone.

Cody’s mother says he then mixed the prexription drugs with alcohol and cocaine and died at a friend’s house that same night.

The Greenhaw’s say they had no idea Cody was dabbling into prescription drugs.

As a child and as a teen Sareva says her son had trouble swallowing prescribed medication.

She even hid the leftover medication at home.

"I thought nobody would know it was there but me but after he died that bottle was empty and it wasn't when I put it in there," says Greenhaw.

Pharmacist Jim Brown of Freedland Brown Pharmacy in Tulsa says for any child or teen these “salad” parties could be fatal.

"It's like playing Russian Roulette. Depending on what pill you get out of the bowl,” says Brown. "Tranquilizers, Xanax and Alprazolim and mixed with these codeine prescriptions is going to be very dangerous."

Teens are not just popping pills but using pain patches like Fentanyl.

"It tells you right on the package when we dispense them. Protect them from animals and children," says Brown

The patch releases a very strong painkiller into your blood stream over several days. The patches are easily hidden under clothes.

"If you took the whole thing and opened it so you could put it on or did anything else you are getting a three day dosage and that's very dangerous," says Brown.

The Partnership for A Drug Free America reports one in five teens has abused a prescription medication.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

WagonrBullDawg - 3/29/2009 11:58 PM
1 Vote
I believe what slimjim had to say is true. It would be a huge suprise to most people to find that most of the one's purchasing these pills are the affluent, do-gooders; that can afford them. The Poor are usually the suppliers.

slimjim - 3/20/2009 9:53 PM
1 Vote
Yeah fox, that may be the cause of the problem, parents who refuse to accept the responsiblity of their little do-no-wrong darlings. How can the parents blame their children for what they are doing themselves? If the parents are not responsible, who should be? Are these little medicated darlings just to be turned loose on society to do what ever they desire? Perhaps if you( former party teen) or any of your former acquaintances ( that were big into pills) ever had to pull, a beautiful young girl in the prime of life, out of a twisted piece of metal caused by some "young pill popper" you would indeed reconsider if those parents should be responsible. Oh yeah, they're not to blame, they're just little darlings wanting to "fit in and get high" Geez, tell that to the parents of the victims.

foxinsox07 - 3/19/2009 11:29 AM
2 Votes
The parents can only be responsible to an extent. what if there is a medical issue they need these drugs for? something that doesnt cause a high for a person that needs that medication may do it for someone who doesnt need it. having been quite the party teen when I was younger and knowing people that were big into pills when I was in high school I do not belive that parents should be held responsible for their childrens stupidity and craving to fit in and get high

brownie - 3/18/2009 12:41 PM
2 Votes
Their parents are probably working for AIG (Arrongance, Incompetence, and Greed). I know that back in the last generation you had pills also, so it's nothing new, and will always be out there. It's all about being smart, not allowing peer pressure, and becoming accountable to yourself, your family, and society. A little maturity can go along way!

slimjim - 3/17/2009 10:17 PM
4 Votes
Does this also paint a picture of what condition the parents of these kids might be in. Pop a few pills then off to work, pop a few pills during the day, and then come home and pop a few more pills. Any wonder these little darlings are zombies most of the time. It would be very interesting to know the profession of some of the adult pill poppers, and the responsiblities they carry on their shoulders for their performance while medicated. These kids get all strung out and then get behind the wheel of their sports cars or suv's. If these kids are minors and found to be under the influence of drugs, they AND THEIR PARENTS should be punished and held responsible for the consequences of their actions. It would probably surprise you to know that most of these kids are from the more affluent neighborhoods. It would be very interesting to see the case history of the fines and sentences ( if any ) which have been rendered by the judicial system for the same offense, committed by the affluent vs. those from the poorer sections of the city or surrounding cities. Hummmmm!
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