Community Problem Solving
Drug abuse among teens is an ongoing concern of the community and law enforcement. The drugs are not always bought on the streets, even though they are illegally obtained. Teens are turning to a source in everyone’s home- the bathroom medicine cabinet. The rise in the use of these “legal drugs” for illegal purposes will be explored in this paper and the solution more communities are using to help control the access to these drugs.
Commonly used painkillers and over the counter medications are becoming the drugs of choice for teenagers in communities across the nation because of their easy accessibility. According to a report from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, approximately one in five teenagers has abused a prescription painkiller and one in 11 has abused OTC products (Gara, 2005). The teens cited the ease of obtaining the drugs was a major factor saying they simply removed the prescription drugs from the medicine cabinets of family and friends.
Teens have told teachers, family and friends about having “skittle” parties using the drugs obtained from medicine cabinets. A “skittle” or “pharm” party is a get-together at a friend’s house where each attendee is asked to bring pills taken from prescriptions found in the medicine cabinet or prescription in the home. The teens put the pills into a bowl and pass it around. Each teenager takes two or three pills from the bowl and swallows them without looking at what the pills are. The deadly combination of the pills and the risk involved is the thrill and intrigue to the teens (Examiner, 2011).
Communities are taking up the challenge to solve the problem by organizing collection programs to get the drugs off the streets and out of the homes. In Clay County, Florida, Operation Medicine is an effort between the community, the sheriff’s department and Clay High Academy of Law and Emergency Services. The program sets up drop off points twice a year with sponsors including...