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Pharming Essentials For Parents

Pharmaceutical advise

Any parent who is unaware of what a pharming party (pronounced “farming”) actually means should ask their teenage children!

Just in case your kids are not at this age yet here’s what it’s all about:

What’s in the name?

Pharming is a combination of the words ‘pharmaceuticals’ and ‘farming’ and involves the use of prescription and OTC medications of every type. These are mixed and matched to give those attending such parties a high.

Know the vocabulary:

It is a parent’s duty to inform their kids about the dangers of drug abuse. The reality is that many parents know less about the current drug scene than they would care to admit.

Many teenagers and young adults think they have an over-abundance of knowledge on the subject. The truth generally extends to how a substance affects them when taken and rely on anecdotes from friends and peers about what certain drugs offer. Very little is mentioned about the potential downside of drugs.

Parents will benefit from brushing-up on ‘street speak’ in terms of what their children are discussing with friends. Pharming being a point in case.

It would take several articles to list the huge number of nicknames given to drug categories and individual substances that are abused, but to whet your appetite and encourage further investigation here are 3 words/phrases to listen out for during your children’s conversations with their friends:

  • Prescription pain relievers: Big boys, cotton, kicker.
  • Prescription sedatives and tranquilisers: Chill pills, French fries, tranqs.
  • Xanax: This particular drug is mentioned by name because it is right up there with the most commonly abused prescription medication: Z-bar, bricks, benzos.

Prescription pill abuse:

After marijuana, prescription medications are the most abused substances available. Obviously, adult use has a lot to do with this statistic, but by leaving a medicine cabinet unlocked or storing old drugs they are leaving a window of temptation for their children.

Children often see prescribed medication as being far less harmful than illegal substances, but this is most certainly not the case when abused. This misuse exponentially increases risks.

As a parent, it is vital you dispel this myth. Educate your children in a sensible manner. A manner that gets the message over: “Taking prescription medication without a doctor’s approval and ignoring recommended usage amounts can be extremely dangerous, even deadly”.

Keep a close eye on things:

Giving guidance to your children has many strands to it. One of these is in relation to minimising opportunities that may tempt them to take any prescription medication lying about. Their peer group will always have several members who urge others to pocket whatever they can without getting caught.

Here are some things to keep an eye on:

  • Missing prescription medications
  • Empty cough medicine bottles or boxes
  • Bunking school
  • Decreased grades in school
  • Increased aggression or agitation
  • Hearing slang drug terms used when talking to friends
  • Unexpected new friends on the scene
  • Deterioration in appearance and personal hygiene habits
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or pastimes they once enjoyed
  • Leaving the house without permission

This list could go on, but hopefully the picture is clear. Any noticeable changes in your children’s habits and routines should be monitored and addressed if evidence is found or suspicion deepens.

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