Skittles Parties: Not the Invitation You’re Looking For

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Skittles Parties are nothing new, but there are still many people who are unfamiliar with what these types of gatherings entail. If you are a parent, grandparent or have teens and young adults in the home, it’s important that you know what a Skittles Party is. This awareness can prevent your medicine cabinet from being raided and avoid you from unknowingly fueling a drug party.

What is a Skittles Party?

A Skittles Party is a get-together where the attendants – mostly teens and young adults – must come with prescription medications, which have been taken from unsuspecting parents and grandparents. All of the pills are combined together and put into a community bag or bowl. Whoever is at the party can reach in and take a handful of pills, resulting in a unique high each time.

What Types of Drugs are Found at Skittles Parties?

Party goers don’t know what the pills are, nor does anyone really seem to care. Some of the most common prescription medications that end up in bowls at Skittles Parties include :

  • Ritalin
  • Tylenol with codeine
  • Xanax
  • Vicodin
  • Adderall
  • Valium
  • Prozac
  • Lortab
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Concerta
  • OxyCodone

A Lack of Awareness Claims Lives

Obviously, there are endless dangers to Skittles Parties. The fact that people are taking several different types of drugs can put them at risk for serious drug interactions. Consider that someone grabs three different pills and drinks alcohol. Hours later, they start to feel ill: their heart is pounding, they are dizzy and nauseous and their skin is clammy.

Even if this person’s friends do the right thing and take them to the emergency room, the user will not know what is in their body. Without this pertinent information, medical personnel can only do so much. Even under the care of an emergency staff, a Skittles Party goer can still die.

Not knowing what is causing the harmful interactions and side effects puts even the most seasoned medical doctors in a helpless position. Even if a user does take note of what they are putting into their bodies – which is rarely the case by the way – no one knows how they will handle a medication.

When pain medications or anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to a patient, a doctor carefully evaluates the patient’s symptoms, their weight, other medications they are on, allergic reactions and so forth. Just because two people are holding pills of Ritalin does not mean that they are the same. Pills come in different varieties and strengths, so one pill can be much stronger than the other.

Skittles Parties are Easily Hidden

Skittles Parties are some of the most dangerous practices out there, but the trouble is that they are very easy to hide. They could be going on in the basements of parents’ homes without them having any idea. Prescription pills, unlike other drugs, don’t have an odor. They don’t require paraphernalia. Parents are commonly on the lookout for bottles of alcohol, marijuana paraphernalia and other strange odors and scents, but prescription pills are much harder to detect.

Even more shocking is where the “candy” for Skittles Parties are coming from: the homes of parents, grandparents, friends’ parents, neighbors and so on. Many people have prescription medications in their homes, and many are not aware of them. Past surgeries, oral procedures, previous injuries, etc are just some of the ways that people start accumulating a variety of prescription pills. Now factor in all the people who use antidepressants, anti-anxiety and ADHD medications, and it’s easy for a young adult to show up at a party with a handful of random pills.

Many people will say that they would notice if bottles of pills were going missing in their home, but keep in mind that Skittles Parties only have attendants coming with a few miscellaneous pills. Your own family member may not be taking bottles of pills, but sneaking a pill or two is likely to go unnoticed.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Loved Ones

Keeping tabs on all medications in your home is a start. The same goes for other homes that your loved ones travel to frequently. Use pill boxes to account for accurate doses, count the number of pills in the bottles and keep all extras in a lock box or locked drawer. Remember, it’s not just your own loved ones you need to protect but friends, neighbors and other people who are frequently in your home.

Keeping the lines of communication open with grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors is also important, as everyone can work together to keep track of the medications they have in their homes. While teens are most at risk for Skittles Parties, these gatherings are not out of reach for anyone. We all have responsibilities, and keeping prescription medications inaccessible is one that we all need to take seriously.