A disturbing trend of taking prescription drugs to get high, hits home here in the Northstate.
About one in every three high school students in Shasta County admit to having tried a medication to get high at some point in their lifetime.
Area law enforcement has teamed up to participate in a prescription drug take back program.
To prevent misuse and abuse of medications, the nationwide event calls on everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets, and turn in any old prescriptions.
"Unfortunately we have had victims of that here in our hospital. It's really tragic,” says Dr. Marcia McCampbell, Shasta Regional Medical Center’s chief medical officer.
McCampbell explains that teens are taking part in pill popping parties, also known as “skittles parties”.
"They call it a ‘pharm party’, not f-a-r-m but p-h-a-r-m. This can be disastrous,” says McCampbell.
"They just go in, they grab these medications, throw them in a bowl. You've got blood thinners, where if you take too many of them, you just bleed to death internally. Or you have a stroke in your head. You have a bleed in your head, and you're paraplegic or quadriplegic, or just a vegetable," says McCampbell.
She explains that teens are focused on getting high, by stealing leftover medications, usually from a family member.
McCampbell says taking part in the prescription drug take back, and handing over any and all pills that could get into the wrong hands, is essential.
"These side effects are irreversible,” says McCampbell.
All prescription take backs will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Here’s a list of Northstate prescription drug drop off location:
Shasta County: Mt. Shasta Mall, Sears parking lot
Tehama County: Sheriff’s Office, 22840 Antelope Blvd, Red Bluff
Red Bluff Community Center, 1500 S. Jackson Street, Red Bluff
Corning Police Department 774 Third Street, Corning
Butte County: Hamilton City Fire Protection District, 420 First Street, Hamilton City
Organizers ask people place their pills in sealed zip-lock bags.
All prescription drug drop offs are anonymous.