Skippy isn’t just peanut butter – or Alex P. Keaton’s affable neighbour – anymore.
It is a code word for Ritalin.
And the same way “fat” has an entirely opposite meaning when spelled with a “ph,” so too does “farm.”
Welcome, to 2010. Actually, welcome to 2000, because if you think pharm parties are new, well, you’ve just been watching too much Family Ties.
Unlike a farm party, where you may go to pet Milly the cow and Mr. Trotsky the horse, more and more teens go to pharm parties where they may end up believing they can converse with Milly and Mr. Trotsky.
Here’s how it goes… Kids “farm” through their parents’ medicine cabinets for pharmaceuticals to serve as snacks for the party. At the party, they combine their findings in a big bowl of “trail mix,” over which the partygoers can “graze.”
The potential for drug interactions and overdoses is horrifying, but to these reckless teenagers it is electrifying. With the different combinations of drugs, one does not need to know what he or she is taking, and can expect a different high – or low – every time.
And with code words such as “Skippy” or “Killer” (OxyContin), teens can openly discuss at home or school what types of “cocktails” they plan to put together at the party.
These abuses can lead to even worse drug habits, such as the newer trends of pill crushing to snort or mix with water to inject – just like heroin.
Mixing anti-depressants with painkillers can quickly become addictive (if one doesn’t die first), and OxyContin’s similarity to heroin in a crushed state is remarkable.
What can follow is a new deadly dependency for a kid who just wanted to be the life of a party.
This alarming trend also fuels more alarming possibilities.
In an American study published in 2006, 47 per cent of teens said they get the drugs from a relative or friend. Studious Sally, and Just-Say-No Jimmy, can easily find pills in mommy and daddy’s medicine cabinet to sell to their schoolmates.
Vicodin, sedatives, and tranquilizers are amongst the most popular drugs, and they can be easier for teens to acquire than alcohol or other common recreational drugs.
On a side note, tampons are not just for girls anymore! A vodka-soaked tampon up a no-no hole, where highly sensitive membranes can rapidly distribute the effect of the alcohol, is indeed another trend. This was reported by the Oxford Journal all the way back in 1999.
Then again, the no-no hole is not so no-no for a growing number of teens who believe that anal sex is not really sex, so they can have their cake and virginity too.
Meanwhile, back at the pharm…
The fact remains that young people today have greater access to pharmaceuticals than ever before. Doctors are quick to prescribe anti-depressants and other drugs for whatever ails you.
(Just ask Corey Haim… Oh wait… you can’t.)
According to the New York Times, in 2007, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin plead guilty to marketing the drug “with the intent to defraud or mislead,” doctors, consumers, and the FDA as to its immense potential for abuse and addiction.
The drug-maker paid $634 million (90 per cent of its Oxy-profits) in fines and punitive damages - the largest settlement ever made by a drug company.
Through this case it was revealed that “experienced drug abusers and novices, including teenagers, soon discovered that chewing an OxyContin tablet or crushing one and then snorting the powder or injecting it with a needle produced a high as powerful as heroin.”
The deceit of the pharmaceuticals is not limited to the public.
They pay doctors well to give speeches and influence other doctors – and patients. They take overly mac-and-cheesed med-students out to lunches and suppers so as not to be forgotten later.
Pharmaceuticals certainly keep everyone well-fed, as they shovel it out.
With prescription drug recipe concoctions on the rise, pharm parties are just good business for drug makers, and possibly even better business for hospitals – but not in a good way.
Kids are sent to emergency rooms in record numbers, due to deadly prescription medications combos.
To be clear, even though this abuse has increased dramatically over the past 10 to 20 years, it is still a small percentage of teens who are believed to participate. But even if it is one in 10, that is still too much.
Parents should know that while it is obvious to keep prescriptions under lock and key, it obviously is not always being done.
And remember, though their taste in music, fashion, or celebrities may be suspect, there are still a lot of good kids out there.
It is just important that everyone knows the skippy.