As children begin to enter their teen years, parents begin to worry about common dangers such as pre-marital sex and drugs. These are realities that parents understand many young people feel the need to experiment with. Today these dangers pose an even greater risk than they did in decades past because there is an increase in sexually transmitted diseases as well as an increase in the amount and type of drugs available to young people. One of the most commonly available drugs that young people indulge in today falls into a category commonly called, “party pills.”
Party pills fall into a common category of psychoactive drugs that are generally used as an energy stimulant before and during partying. In the year 20o8 the most common party pills which contained a substance known as BZP became a controlled substance, making the first generation of party pills illegal. Of course this mostly increased the popularity of the drug, as well as encouraged an onslaught of similar substances which lacked the illegal BZP substance, but reportedly delivered similar effects for the user.
The effect of party pills or energy pills is similar to that of methamphetamine, in that it speeds up the heart rate, gives a sense of intense energy and elevates the mood. Users report that this can increase the pleasure of partying and sex. Many users experience feelings of euphoria, intense energy and enhanced visual or auditory senses. The new generation of party pills which do not contain BZP try to make up for the lack of the substance with large doses of caffeine, and geranium extract among other legal substances.
There are many herbal versions of classic party pills on the market, which are commonly called, “herbals.” Although marketed as a “safe” alternative to other party pills, herbals can actually pose a greater health risk to some people because herbal substances are not always regulated by the FDA, and therefore their effects on the human body are unknown. Party pills are especially popular among young people who are still developing, and the effects upon a developing human can be dangerous. Another risk of taking herbals is that in most cases it is unknown how the substances will interact with any other prescription medications the individual may be taking. This poses a huge health risk to young people.
The market for pills that get you high legally, has exploded in the last five to ten years with companies that proudly advertise that their products can give highs similar to that of cocaine or speed without the negative side effects. This is a contradictory statement in itself because the effects of cocaine and speed on the nervous system is of itself dangerous, regardless of how that affect is obtained. Speeding up the body in an unnatural way puts stress on the heart and causes damage to brain cells. Any time you put a substance into your body which speeds the body up you are wearing the body down faster as well. Cell reproduction as well as the circulatory system and nervous system all become overtaxed and negative effects will be seen.
Party pills have seen an increase in popularity as well since the advent of the “pill party.” A pill party is an event in which people get together in order to share their pills. In most cases a pill party would consist of individuals bringing many different types of over the counter or prescription medications, mixing them and then taking them in random combinations. This is a highly dangerous practice as many drugs interact with one another in a negative way. There have been many instances of death and overdose due to this practice. It should also be noted that individuals who are already on prescription drugs and have certain levels of those medications built up in their systems can have very negative affects if they mix other medications with that medication.
The party pill industry has been built on the premise of recreating illegal highs with substances that are currently legal. At this time there are products on the markets boasting the same effects as LSD, Ecstasy, Cocaine and many other illegal substances. Although these products claims to be “safe” alternatives there is currently no government regulations for products which are simply labeled “dietary supplements.” This is clearly indicated on the packaging and consumers are warned that all side effects have not be tested and documented. Because there is no way to regulate these substances there is an actual greater risk to young people. These substances are very easily available, legal to carry, and easy to ingest. In many cases these substances do not come in child proof containers which also poses a threat to any very young people or young children who may find these substances.
Parents, who in the past, were vigilant to look for illegal drugs, must now be vigilant to check into any product their teen is consuming. Terms like “energy pills” or vitamins, or herbal supplements can mean a number of things which could possibly pose a threat to your child or other children in the home. The safest route is to ask a lot of questions and stay on top of your child’s behavior, and whereabouts. If you see sudden, unexplainable changes in your child’s behavior it could be an indicator that they are taking one of these substances.
Some of the side effects of party pills will be loss of appetite, huge energy surges and changes in sleep patterns. When an individual has used more than the suggested dosage you may see rage, emotional frailty, and physical sickness. The way in which the substances speed up the nervous system can often result in a break down in the immune system making young people more susceptible to infections and sickness.
If you suspect your child or teen may be experimenting with party pills, it is important to talk to them and possibly seek out counseling to help your child understand why they feel the need to experiment with such things. Expect your child to be resistant to this type of involvement at first. This is okay. It is a parent’s job to be involved in every aspect of their child’s life. Make sure your child understands that it is their health you are most concerned about and that you are also concerned about why they feel they need such substances in order to enjoy themselves. Listen for words like “pharm” which could indicate “pharm parties” another term for pill parties. Also the term “rave” is often used to indicate an intense form of partying in which party goers are using party pills. “Purple” or “Purples” is also a code term often used to indicate party pills.