It is a well-known fact that kids acting out is a part of the growing up process. There are many ways kids go about doing this. One of the most dangerous ways is to get involved in illegal drugs. There is a lot of research and publicized warnings to parents and educators about the dangers associated with this activity. However, in the past few years, there has been a new trend in childhood drug usage.
“Pharma Parties,” as they are called, are parties which occur when a child’s parents are not home. Kids open the medicine cabinet and fill large bowls with various types of prescription drugs. The bowls are passed around and kids take handfuls of random medications and ingest them. This practice is done in order to achieve a feeling of calming. Often kids go into a dazed state and many injuries and deaths have been associated with these kinds of parties, including the tragic death of a young teen in Philadelphia in 2007.
Handling this problem has many legal obstacles. The first is that the drugs being taken are legal drugs. They are legally manufactured, legally sold, and legally bought by the parents of the host and guests. There also is not a law in Pennsylvania against taking many of these medications. The regulation is on doctors and pharmacies that prescribe them. There is also a legal question as to whether the parents whose medication is taken by the teens and young adults should be held liable for the injuries and deaths. If their medicine cabinets or drawers are not securely locked or out of the reach of children, can they be held responsible? Can they if the cabinets were locked and children broke in to obtain the drugs?
Have you or someone you know had an experience with a teenage pharma party? Have your children or friends of theirs stolen your medications in order to participate in such an event? The experienced attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski can give you the best guidance based on the laws of Pennsylvania and regulations regarding prescription drugs. We are small enough to care, large enough to win™.