General News

Melissa Gilbert urges parents to talk to kids about prescription drugs

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Sep 23, 2012 | 5:15am EDT

The actress, who battled an alcohol addiction in her 30s, was appalled when she learned about the trend for teenage drug parties, during which kids gamble with pills they have stolen from their parents' medicine cabinets - and now she wants adults to be more aware of what is going on among their kids when they are not watching them.

She tells U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, "This problem is so pervasive, but the thing that's at the heart of it that gets me is that when a parent finds out that their child has a drug problem, they immediately feel like it's just them and you feel like a bad parent.

"They have this scary, scary thing that kids are doing today, called pharm parties, and they steal drugs from their parents and then get together and they dump it in a bowl in the middle of the table and just indiscriminately take pills; Viagra, Percocet, whatever is in there... not knowing what they're taking or what their reaction to it is gonna be."

The actress also admits she has had to work through her own kids' addiction issues - one son developed a problem with cocaine while another dabbled with alcohol.

Gilbert says, "I turned to Alcohol Anonymous and just going to meetings and listening to people in those meetings gave me a lot of information and a lot of help."

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