Prescription drugs like Xanax and Valium have been the popular pills to pop and get high amongst teenagers in Texoma until now.
More and more kids are turning to pain killers like Oxycodone, Percodan and Lortab. Marcy Thomas is the director of the substance abuse program at Helen Farabee. She says just last year 166 teenagers from the our area were treated there for substance abuse and 20% of them were abusing pills of this kind. The problem is teens can get them easily. They're in the medicine cabinet at home or even a mouse click away. Parents are aware of the trend and are very worried.
"The moment they decide that they want to try it they probably only have to step out on the hall way and run into anybody who has it available," said a parent from Wichita Falls.
And Thomas says, "In the past year there's probably been 3 kids that have ordered drugs on the internet. They didn't have to have prescription or anything. They just ordered it."
Teens are ordering on websites from other countries and in many cases they end up getting counterfeit drugs that could have an unknown effect. Even more kids in Texoma are participating in pharming parties as well. They basically dump a large amount of prescription drugs in a bowl.
"They just take their hand and they take handful of pills that they have no idea what they are," said Thomas.
But sometimes teenagers are getting the pills straight from their parents hand.
Thomas says, "They say well, they were complaining of this and so I had some pain killers in my medicine cabinet so I just gave them one and told them to take it."
Experts say parents should always keep their prescription drugs locked up and away from their kids. You should also be aware of the pills when you take your kids to visit a family member or a friend. Counting your pills could also help you keep track of them.
Experts also say you should take precaution when you're getting rid of your prescription drugs in order to protect people, pets and the wildlife. Don't pour or flush pills down the sink or toilet. Instead put them in a plastic bag, add hot water and also add either shredded paper, coffee grounds or cat litter and then throw it away.