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Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are a great aid in society when used in the prescribed way but if not used as intended they can be highly debilitating or even deadly.  Parents need to be aware of the dangers of all prescription medications their teens may have access to regardless of to whom the prescription is written.  Keep track of the current prescription amounts so you know when the supply is less than what it should be. Know what websites your children are viewing. Many prescription drugs can now be purchased through the internet from third party and/or out of country dealers. Be diligent in where and what your teen is doing when not home with you and become  familiar with the terms “Skittle or Pharm parties” or your son or daughter “going to the Pharm”.  These increasingly popular gatherings, hosted by other teens, are where pills taken from prescription bottles in your home, are tossed into a bowl where they are shared by all.  Teens are often fearless in this approach adopting the attitude that they are untouchable and beyond consequence. Add alcohol to the mix and the results can be devastating. Talk to your teens and inform them of these dangers.

According to information obtained from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription drugs like OxyContin, Oxycodone or Vicodin can be a gateway drug to Heroin.   In addition one in 15 people who abuse prescription pain relievers will try heroin within the next 10 years.  Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin help to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Many people believe that taking stimulants will help them stay alert longer and improve memory.   Researchers have proven that there is no evidence that teens who use Adderall or Ritalin will achieve good grades.  The truth is that people who abuse prescription medication have lower grades, are more likely to drink alcohol heavily and use other illicit drugs.  Keep prescription drugs locked up. When expired they should be disposed of properly at an approved collection sight.  There are four approved sites located throughout Carroll County:


Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Northern Satellite Office in Hampstead
Westminster City Police Department
Sykesville Police Department
Taneytown Police Department


Trends in Carroll County

According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Prevention “NIDA”, 52 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drug non-medically in their lifetime.  Prescription opioid – related deaths increased in Carroll County from five in 2011 to 17 in 2012 in Carroll at a time when the rate declined almost 13 percent in Maryland, from 335 deaths in 2011 to 293 deaths in 2012 (source: DHMH).  A subject looking to purchase a prescription opioid can expect to pay $1.00 per milligram on the Carroll street drug market and sometimes even more (source: Carroll County Drug Task Force) .

Narcotics:  (Morphine, Codeine, Oxycodone)

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • skin patches
  • powder and/or chunks in varying colors

Narcotics can be swallowed, smoked, sniffed or injected (source NIDA)

Signs of narcotic use:  constricted (pinpoint) pupils, cold clammy skin, confusion, convulsions, slowed breathing and extreme drowsiness.


Stimulants: (Adderall, Ritalin)

  • Pills and capsules that can be swallowed, smoked, snorted and injected.

Signs of Stimulants use:  increased blood pressure and heart rate, dilated pupils, insomnia, loss of appetite, physical exhaustion, excessive sweating and abdominal cramps (source: NIDA).


Carroll County Sheriff's Office • 100 North Court Street • Westminster, Maryland 21157
410.386.2900 or 1.888.302.8924

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is committed to recruiting initiatives that reflect a fair and impartial representation of minority groups and females among its employees and applicants in approximate proportion to the minority composition of the Carroll County community.