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Teen Trend: 'Cabinet Parties'

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Teens are hosting "cabinet parties" -- where getting high on prescription meds is the ultimate goal.

bowl of pills

Teens in Calif. are engaging in a trend known as "cabinet parties," according to Crescenta Valley Police Chief Ron DePompa. "Teens raid their parent's medicine cabinet for opiates such as Vicodin and OxyContin, and take them to the party, where the pills are dumped into a large bowl for communal use," he says. This pill mixture is often called "trail mix" -- but it's anything but healthy.

These parties (also known as "pharming" or "punch bowl" parties) have been around for years, but experts say they're on the rise. Two point three million children aged 12 to 17 take legal prescription drugs illegally every year. One in five teens has intentionally misused someone else's prescription drugs. Nearly half say they get the medications from friends and relatives by taking them from medicine cabinets or at pharming parties.

Keep medications under lock and key, and advise other relatives to do the same.

Dr. Alanna Levine gives the following tips to parents:

1. Be aware of the increasing incidence of abuse.
2. Talk to your teens about the risk of sharing medications.
3. Be aware of how many pills are in the bottle, and monitor frequently.
4. Be wary of physicians who simply refill prescriptions without a proper evaluation.
5. Know the number for Poison Control (in the U.S., it's 800-222-1222) in case of an emergency.

Read more great tips on pharming prevention from teen expert Ross Ellis here.

Do your teens talk about cabinet parties or pharming parties? Have you ever noticed prescription meds missing from your medicine cabinet?



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