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Schools warn of "Skittles" parties
Prescription drugs are fast becoming a problem on college campuses -- especially when they're mixed with alcohol or marijuana.
It's not just the Iowa State University campus seeing an increase in the problem, but also the city of Ames. Most of the trend is being seen in young adults who are having dangerous events called "Skittles parties."
"When it comes time for finals or anything like that I have heard of a couple people misusing Adderall just to get a better advantage when it comes to studying," said Nick Corwin, an I.S.U. sophomore.
Iowa State police said they can't give us a definitive number of cases. They charge violators with possession of a controlled substance and don't differentiate between illegal drugs or legal prescription drugs in the charges, but they said they are seeing a rise in cases.
"What we're seeing is more of a shift that they're not using just marijuana. There's some sort of prescription that we're recovering at the scene as well," said Lt. Elliott Florer, of the I.S.U. Police Department.
Ames police tell KCCI they've also seen an increase in cases. In 2012, the Story County Drug Task Force seized 20 doses of opiate Hydrocodone while the following year they seized 200 doses.
"There seems to be a lot of them out there and we've certainly noticed a difference," said Cmdr. Geoff Huff, of the Ames Police Department.
Huff said they're hearing more about so called Skittles parties.
"The kids will show up, and this is usually teenagers, and they just bring a handful of pills and they lay them out and they just start taking stuff," said Huff.
Officials said the problem is that the pills are easy to get a hold of.
"They're available in the home so it's important for parents to keep an eye on their prescriptions and monitor that," said Florer.
Officials said their biggest concern is when users start mixing the drugs with other things.
"There are side effects when you mix a prescription drug with an illegal drug and you add alcohol on top of it. It's a recipe for disaster," said Florer.
Police say many drug users take pills from mom and dad's medicine cabinet, but people also steal the drugs or buy them from others who actually have a prescription for them.