Skittle Parties

Ever heard of a skittles party? And no, we’re not talking about a time where everyone gets together to “tasting the rainbow” and get an extreme sugar high off of colorful little candies. We’re talking about one of the trends that teens (and even some pre-teens) are experimenting with. It involves stealing. It involves sharing. And it’s one of the most dangerous ways kids are abusing prescription medications.


A trend in prescription drug use by teens is "skittles parties"

What is a Skittles Party?

Simply put, a skittles party (also referred to as  Pharm Party) is where kids will raid their parents’ medicine cabinets, steal prescription meds, and then attend a party where they throw their loot into a big bowl along with everyone else’s parents’ medicines. A little stirring action mixes all of the pills together, and each kid grabs a handful of pills and heads to the backroom to take the pills and get a high. No, we’re not joking.

Dangers of Skittle Parties

I don’t think we really have to go into why a skittles party is dangerous in itself. Think about taking a cocktail of mixed pills like pain killers, blood pressure medicine and antibiotics. And that’s just one scenario. Recklessly ignoring the labels and grabbing whatever prescription medicines they can find, kids are out to get a high the easiest way they know how. What they don’t realize is that mixing prescription drugs will not only give them the “high” of their life, but it might just in fact kill them.

Talk to your Pre-Teens and Teens about Prescription Drug Abuse

We live in a culture where adults aren’t the only ones taking prescription medications. Ask any school nurse; she’d be able to make a long list of elementary students taking some type of prescription medication throughout the school day. We’re not going to join the debate on whether it’s right or not, but we’ll just comment that prescription drugs are growing in all markets – even for children.

Because so many kids are prescribed prescription drugs, it’s important to begin talking to your kids early about drugs and drug abuse. Find age-appropriate ways to reinforce the understanding of the purpose of taking any drug (over-the-counter or prescription).

Practical-Parent had some ideas for talking to your young kids about drugs and restricting exposure to drugs:

  • Emphasize household rules and values.
  • Talk about what to do in a situation you don’t like.
  • Continue to restrict what television they watch and talk about what they see.
  • Teach them to make good choices about how they treat their bodies.

More Resources for Skittle Parties

If you’re a parent and concerned that your child or teenager may be overusing prescription drugs, consider a blood test to determine what drugs may be in their system. The safest way to avoid your child’s temptation to participate in harmful prescription drug use is to lock your medicine and keep it out of reach from your children.

Read more about Practical Parenting’s article about skittle parties

Read about’s article about the resurrection of the “Pharm Parties”

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