Pharming parties (also called pharm parties) is a media-invented term describing get-togethers where prescription drugs are exchanged and randomly ingested, in order to become intoxicated. The earliest mention of such parties appears to have been in the March 8, 2002 issue of the newspaper Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA), which said this was occurring "in some communities".
In June 2006, Slate editor Jack Shafer traced reports of teen "pharming parties" back to their source and concluded that there was little evidence indicating that such a phenomenon is popular, growing, or even real. Shafer wrote, "If pharm parties are a trend, they're the best-hidden and least-talked about one in the country." He noted that "It goes without saying that pharm parties may be very real and very everywhere. It's a big country. But it looks to me like pharm party is just a new label the drug-abuse industrial complex has adopted to describe the decades-old tradition of pill parties."
Although studies show that as many as one in five teenagers have abused prescription medications, it is not clear whether parties specifically organized to exchange drugs contribute to this abuse. In March 2008, Shafer wrote, "I've failed to locate a single human source or article that documents a single such festivity, let alone proves that they're commonplace, as the media would have you believe."
- Jack Shafer, "Down on the Pharm, Again: Debunking 'Pharm Parties' for the Third Time", Slate Magazine, March 25, 2008
- Jack Shafer, "Are 'pharm parties' real or a media invention?", Slate Magazine, June 19, 2006
- "More teens abusing prescription drugs." Institute for Good Medicine, Pennsylvania Medical Society, August 14, 2008. Accessed January 11, 2010.
- Jack Shafer, "The '60s Version of a Pharm Party: "'Fruit Salad Parties.' You Think I'm Kidding. I'm Not.", Slate Magazine, March 26, 2008
- Banta, Carolyn (August 1, 2005). "Trading for a High". Time Magazine. p. 35.
- Information on Teen Prescription and Substance Abuse, Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society, accessed January 11, 2010.
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