Share the lingo with friends, family, neighbors, and other parents you know.
Why prescription drugs?
Two key factors in driving prescription drug abuse among teenagers:
- The misperception that abusing medication is not harmful
- The ease of access to these drugs at home, a friend's house, or the Internet
Inside the lives of teens
Mary: age 14
Got caught taking a number of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Wants to try and experiment with more. Prescription pain relievers and marijuana top her list.
Matt: age 15
Has experimented with prescription sedatives, stimulants and OTC medications. Has mixed tranquilizers with alcohol at parties three times. Says he doesn't see prescription drug use as a problem, unless you do it every day.
Lucy: age 16
Takes prescription sedatives every other day (based on how much she can get). Has her own network of older kids who can get her pills. Says her family has no clue what's going on.
For more insight into your teen's world, check out the websites your kids visit, such as social networking sites.
You may not know what pharming is, but your teenagers do. Your first step in helping protect your teens is to speak the same language. Knowing the vocabulary surrounding prescription drug abuse can help you take a proactive approach in communicating with your teen and safeguarding their health and safety.
Big boys, cotton, kicker
Various slang for prescription pain relievers.
Chill pills, french fries, tranqs
Various slang for prescription sedatives and tranquilizers.
Pharming (pronounced "farming")
From the word pharmaceutical. It means kids getting high by raiding their parents' medicine cabinets for prescription drugs.
Parties where teens bring prescription drugs from home, mix them together into a big bowl (see 'trail mix'), and grab a handful. Not surprisingly, pharm parties are usually arranged while parents are out.
Pilz (pronounced pills)
A popular term used to describe prescription medications. Can also include over-the-counter medications.
Prescription drugs mixed with alcoholic or other beverages.
A mixture of various prescription drugs, usually served in a big bag or bowl at pharm parties.