The Dangerous Trend of Skittles Parties
With the surge in prescription drug use in America in recent years, teens have discovered ways of capitalizing on the abundance of drugs right at their fingertips (in their parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets). Among the latest trend is “Skittles Parties,” where kids pilfer drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin and Tylenol with Codeine from their parents’ medicine cabinets and find a place to gather with friends. They combine all the drugs into a bag and take turns swallowing pills at random, like a dangerous bag of skittles.
For most parents the idea of their teen kids taking mind-altering drugs at random at a “Skittles Party” sounds terrifying. It’s important not be apathetic about the realities of peer pressure — even the most focused kids can cave in when it comes to experimenting with drugs in the face of pressure from friends.
Here’s how to protect your kids from the Skittles Party:
- Lock away all your prescription drugs, even if you believe your teen would never take them much less attend a Skittles Party.
- Keep an inventory of your prescription drugs, even if they’re locked away. Count pills if necessary to avoid becoming an inadvertent Skittles Party supplier.
- Familiarize yourself with your kids’ friends, and be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.
- Know where your kids are at all times and keep in contact with the parents of your kids’ friends.
Here are some statistics about teenage drug abuse from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- In 2009, 16 million Americans aged 12 and up had taken prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- The NIDA-funded 2010 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 2.7% of 8th graders, 7.7% of 10th graders, and 8.0% of 12th graders had abused Vicodin and 2.1% of 8th graders, 4.6% of 10th graders, and 5.1% of 12th graders had abused OxyContin for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
These alarming statistics highlight the importance of protecting kids from prescription drug abuse. A Skittles Party is the last place you’ll ever want your teen to be. If your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the professional clinical staff at Gatehouse Academy can help. We tailor programs to the meet the unique needs of teens and young adults battling addiction. Visit our website for more information about our treatment programs.