Prescription Drugs Take Vigilance

by Bobbie Jacobs, MS, LPC-S. Jacobs is a Counselor in private practice in Greenville
and is a Doctoral Candidate at Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas.

For at least the past four years the term pharming or, more specifically pharm parties has been making the rounds in the media. The term pharm party refers to a party in which all persons attending must bring any form of prescription drug they can get their hands on. In most cases the party participants are adolescents and they have accessed their drugs by way of their parents or grandparent’s medicine cabinet. The party-goers have a designated meeting place where they exchange drugs to get high, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Some columnists and news commentators are skeptical of the pharming phenomenon which has stirred a lot of media controversy with many debating whether these parties even exist. I think they are missing the big picture. The simple fact is that we are all aware that adolescents are abusing prescription drugs at an alarming rate and something needs to be done about it. My suggestion is that we become PHARMERS by following the example of farmers. Let me explain . . . .

A farmer tends to his crops daily and pharmers tend to the number of pills in their prescriptions daily. The farmer pulls weeds and diseased plants and discards them, and pharmers pull old medications from their medicine cabinets and discard them. Farmers keep fertilizers and additives in safe storage areas while pharmers keep prescriptions in safe locked storage areas. The farmer educates himself on how to use fertilizers and additives so his crops will thrive. The pharmer educates his or her children on the consequences of drug use so that the children will thrive. The farmer is vigilant in tending to his crops and is aware of signs of blight. He communicates with nearby farmers on ways to stop the spread of the blight. The pharmer is aware of the signs of drug abuse, keeps a vigilant eye on family members and communicates with his children, whether it’s checking in on how things are going with school, friends, etc. or communicating concerns regarding changes in friends, attitudes and possible experimentation with drugs.

Being a farmer or pharmer takes a lot of time and dedication, but I promise you the end result will be worth all your efforts.