"Pharming" On The Rise Amongst Teens In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/28/07-East Texas

"Pharming" On The Rise Amongst Teens In East Texas

We are becoming a pill popping nation and because of it, we are raising a whole generation of kids who abuse prescription drugs called "Generation Rx."  One in five teenagers admit to using prescription drugs to get high.  It's called "pharming" and as KLTV 7's Tracy Watler explains, here in East Texas, drug abuse counselors say that statistic is eerily accurate.

Valium, Xanex, OxyContin--they're all prescription drugs that are meant to relieve pain but nowadays, kids are using them to get high.

"This has actually been a big concern in this area, we see a lot of the kids in the school districts that we work with resort to using prescription drugs," says Charlene Shreder, Executive Director of Sister Communities Council On Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

She says teenagers of all ages are digging into Mom and Dad's medicine cabinet and bringing the drugs to school.

"It's called 'pharming' where kids bring a variety of different drugs to school, put them in a ziplock bag and just pick out a different color, pick out whichever one that they want," she explains.

Kids, who don't understand the effects any drug can have, mainly, because they don't see it as dangerous as other drugs like marijuana or cocaine.

"It's extremely dangerous because they're powerful drugs and if they're not prescribed for you and you don't have a medical condition it can sometimes result in death," she says.

It's a rising trend that has many East Texas parents concerned.

"It scares me really just seeing that kids younger and younger are using drugs, whether they're illegal drugs or prescription drugs you know. It's just getting a little bit out of control as far as I'm concerned," say concerned parent Jason Bigbie.

Mom Monette Taylor dealt with it first hand when she found out her son was abusing the drug Adderall.

"It's a huge problem and it's so accessible to them because parents sometimes don't realize that they're doing it," Monette explains.

So what can you do to protect your child?

"Parents really need to monitor their drugs, keep them away from children, keep them either locked up or put them in a place where kids don't have access to them," Shreder says.

The first step though, is awareness, knowing what "pharming" means for kids nowadays and knowing that it is out there.

Studies show teen abuse of prescription drugs has tripled in the past ten years.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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