04/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Press Obsessed With The Idea Of "Pharm Parties" That No Teen Has Ever Been To

Like the kid with a mouthful of loose teeth won't stop believing in the tooth fairy, the press just can't release itself from the fantasy of "pharm parties."

Since the middle of the decade, scores of news organizations--major and minor--have run pieces about "pharm parties," events at which teenagers purportedly dump into a big bowl the pills they've pilfered from their parents' medicine cabinets and then gulp them down at random. (I wrote about the pharm-party coverage yesterday and twice in 2006.)

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. The closest anybody has come to finding a pharm party is Time magazine's Carolyn Banta, who in 2005 wrote about attending a party in Cape Cod where teenagers swapped drugs and called it a "pharming party." But kids swapping drugs is nothing new, and it's nowhere near as sensational as teens playing Russian roulette with mixed lots of pharmaceuticals.

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