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'Pharm parties' can lead to death

12:31 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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WPXI - Doctors are warning parents about the deadly potential of "pharm parties" where prescription drugs are swapped.

"It's extremely dangerous. I mean, it's like literally playing Russian roulette," said Dr. Neil Capretto, the medical director at Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

It's not a new term, but it's one that Capretto is starting to hear more often.

He said when drugs are mixed, lethal combinations can result.

"There was a young girl in our community recently that was at a party and took two pills, didn't know what they were. They were two 80 milligrams of oxycontin. That's equal to 36 percocets at one time," Capretto said.

A recent CDC study showed that 20 percent of teens will have abused prescription drugs before they graduate.

One recovering addict Abney spoke with said he tried his first painkiller when he was just 14 years old.

"My mom was in surgery and we had some pills around the house so I took those," he said.

"I tell parents treat narcotic medicine like it's a loaded gun because actually more people die in your community from overdoses from prescription medicines than homicides and traffic fatalities," said Capretto.

Capretto pointed out that addiction does not discriminate, which is why he said parents need to be involved in their child's life and be aware of their habits, friends and behavior.

"Keep your radar on. This is too important. The life of your child depends on this," he said.

WPXI

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