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Many parents do not realize that their own medicine cabinet can be a source of a variety of drugs for abuse.

You may not know what pharming is, but your teenagers do. Your first step in helping protect your teens is to speak the same language. Knowing the vocabulary surrounding prescription drug abuse can help you take a proactive approach in communicating with your teen and safeguarding their health and safety.

Teenagers turn to prescription drugs because they perceive them as less dangerous than illegal drugs. Because of this, teenage prescription drug abuse is on the rise.

In conversations with your teen about drugs, be sure to include prescription drug abuse and why it’s harmful. Tell them that taking prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without a doctor’s approval and supervision can be a dangerous—even deadly—decision. Dispel the myth that these drugs are less harmful than street drugs because they are available through a doctor or at the local drug store.

The Language of Prescription Drug Abuse

Big boys, cotton, kicker Various slang for prescription pain relievers.

Chill pills, french fries, tranqs Various slang for prescription sedatives and tranquilizers.

“Pharming” (pronounced “farming”)

From the word pharmaceutical. It means kids getting high by raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets for prescription drugs to get high.

“Pharm parties”

Parties where teens bring prescription drugs from home, mix them together into a big bowl (see ‘trail mix’), and grab a handful. Not surprisingly, pharm parties are usually arranged while parents are out.

“Bowling parties”

Like “pharming” – mixing medications and taking them randomly.

“Happy Little Pill Time”

Sharing and taking these substances on the way to school.


Over the counter medications (cough and cold medicines, pills or liquids, for example)


Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in over 100 drug products, including cough medicine.

“Robo-tripping “, “Robo-fizzing” , Skittling, Dex-ing

Abuse of cough medicine


Medications from more than one retail store

SLANG: Pain Relievers Oxycodone (Hillbilly Heroin) Percocet (Percs) Vicodin (Happy Pills, Vikes)


Benzodiasepines (Candy, Downers, Sleeping Pills, Tranks) Xanax (Totem Poles) Barbiturates (Barbs, Reds, Blue Birds, Phennies, Yellow Jackets, Tooties)


Ritalin (Kiddy Cocaine, Vitamin R, West Coast) Amphetamines (Bennies, Crosses, Black Beauties, Hearts, Speed, LA Turnaround, Truck Drivers, Uppers)

Cough Medicine

Triple_C, CCC, Dex, Skittles, DXM, Syrup, Tussin

Information contained above is courtesy of Drug Free America for more information please visit:

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