Pharm out

June 30, 2008

Hoosier deaths from overdoses went up 147 percent from 1999 to 2004, and the main culprit is not illegal drugs but the growing abuse of prescription drugs. And get this:

The problem, Wright said, is believed to be most serious among young adults and adolescents who take part in “pharm” parties, where they bring pills, throw them into a bowl and then indiscriminately grab a handful to take.

I know it’s a cliche for us fuddy-duddies to say that the kids today are getting more and more reckless, but this seems to justify the term. Even those of us with misspent youths tended to ingest one thing at a time, know in general the effects it would have, and be somewhat prepared for the bad as well as the good. Peer pressure must be a hell of a lot stronger than it used to be.


5 Responses to “Pharm out”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    You’re right, Leo. And I don’t know what a Hairy Buffalo is, any more than you do.

  2. gadfly Says:

    So the only person purporting that present day Pharm Parties are fake is Jack Shafer. A quick search found no other such sources. The drive by media, however, is always right …***sigh***

  3. Nance Says:

    Another way to look at it is, Shafer is the only — or one of the only — journalist(s) questioning whether pharm parties exist at all, given that they’re routinely mentioned without a shred of evidence, like names, places, arrests, eyewitness testimony, etc. As he has stated many times, he has no problem believing young people abuse prescription drugs. But the throw-’em-in-a-bowl-and-swallow-a-blind-handful ritual, which Leo singled out as a condemnation of kids these days, is most likely a total crock.

  4. Harl Delos Says:

    It’s pretty easy to prove something exists; all you have to show that it happened once. Listing a million parties where it hasn’t happened is no evidence at all.

    I’ve known a couple of people who kept all their pills in one big candy bowl, because it was easier to pick out the pills they wanted, rather than to open the individual bottles every time they needed something.

    Remember Jim Bishop, the newspaper columnist who wrote “The Day Lincoln Was Shot”, and “The Day Christ Died”? Those books, hour by hour accounts of important days in history, were best-sellers back in the 1980s, and probably were the inspiration for the “24” television series.

    His father, Big Jim, was a burly policeman, who died trying to get the childproof lid off the pill bottle his heart medicine was in, using his arthritic hands. I think that story influenced some of the people who had those candy bowls.

    That doesn’t mean that they hold parties, though.

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