There are so many different and unique ways that kids can hide and stash their drugs and it is quite common that their drug use goes unnoticed by parents, teachers, and caregivers. Because drug use is on the rise amongst kids and young adults it is imperative that parents and care givers be aware of the drug trends as they change. This can be hard to do because they change so rapidly. Many parents don’t know what to look for besides changes in behavior within their kids. And most of the time the changes in behavior aren’t as evident or extreme enough until it is too late. Luckily, sometimes there is evidence of drug use right in front of parents and they don’t even know it.
Most parents are uneducated in what’s going on in the “streets” and the terms being used to refer to drugs and drug paraphernalia.
So what is drug paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia falls under two categories, the first being:
- Products that are marketed to kids who use drugs in order to help them hide or use the illegal subtances.
- Dealer related products used by drug traffickers. Dealers use drug paraphernalia when they need to prepare their drugs to sell.
The government defines drug paraphernalia as “any equipment, product, material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”
Where can your kids get drug paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is most commonly marketed to kids and young adults. The reason for this is to make drugs seem less harmful and not so dangerous. A lot of the times drug paraphernalia will be colorful, have catchy designs, celebrity pictures, bold logos and smiley faces printed on them.
Young adults often get drug paraphernalia at head shops/tobacco shops. In some cases kids and young adults can even make their own drug paraphernalia. Most commonly drug paraphernalia is bought at:
- Online stores
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Tobacco shops or head shops
- Trendy gift and novelty stores
- Mail order businesses
What are some examples of drug paraphernalia that your kids may have?
Pipes – Pipes are used for smoking marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine as well as many other illegal substances.
Pipes can be made metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic and many other substances. Pipes can be homemade by kids too with the use of soda cans, soda bottles, and even apples and straws.
Head shops or tobacco shops can sell novelty pipes that are decorated. For example there are some belt buckles that also double as pipes as well as pipes that look like game consoles to a kid’s Nintendo or Xbox. Pipes can look jewelry and even come on string as a necklace as well.
Pipes also come in the form of key rings, lighters, make up, along with magic markers and highlighters. Notice these pipes can be bought this way with the sole purpose of not looking like a pipe to smoke illegal drugs but as a legitimate item.
Other types of pipes are meth pipes (used specifically for smoking meth) and bongs. Bongs are big pipes that have water in the bottom. Bongs look a lot like plant vases. There is also one other type of drug paraphernalia that is used for smoking marijuana, crack or meth and that is a dugout. Dugouts are small wooden cases that have two compartments. The two compartments store the substance and the pipe.
Grinders – Grinders are used in grinding marijuana and look like silver medallions with a top that screws off.
Roach clips – Roach clips are used when smoking a marijuana joint in most instances. Roach clips look like little clips. Roach clips can be made to resemble bracelets, earrings, wires and key rings.
Marijuana plants and marijuana growing kits-Marijuana plants look like plants and are used to grow personal cannabis. Marijuana growing kits include everything a young adult or kid needs to begin growing a marijuana plant.
Scales -Little miniature scales are used by many young adults and kids when weighing drugs and other illegal substances to sell them. Hidden scales are scales that can look like an iPhone, computer mouse, or spoon.
Hookahs -Hookahs are meant for smoking tobacco but can be used for smoking marijuana also.
Cocaine freebase kits-Cocaine freebase kits usually come with a small spoon, a lighter and liquid to liquefy the cocaine. Other drug paraphernalia for cocaine includes mirrors, razors, rolled up money or paper, cut straws, spoons, needles, syringes, belts, or items that can be used as a tourniquet to constrict the vein for intravenous abuse.
Syringes -Syringes are used for intravenously injecting drugs. Most common intravenously used drugs are morphine, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. Syringes usually come along with other drug paraphernalia such as cotton balls, cigarette filters, spoons missing from the kitchen, lighters etc.
Baggies -Plastic bags of any kind are used when concealing and selling any and all illicit substances.
The drug paraphernalia mentioned above is the type of paraphernalia when trying to use drugs. The list below of drug paraphernalia is the type of paraphernalia to conceal or hide drugs and other substances. This type of drug paraphernalia is known as a stash spot.
Sprinkler Heads -They look like actual sprinkler heads but are great for stashing an illicit drug.
Battery Boxes – Battery boxes look authentic but the bottom screws off and there is a secret stash spot inside for drugs and pills etc.
Book Stash Safes – Books safes can be bought or made by tearing the inside pages out of a book. Book stash safes look like books but actually open into a safe to stash illicit substances.
Lighters and Bottle Openers – Lighters and bottle openers both have bottoms that can come off to conceal drugs inside of them.
Car Cigarette Lighters -Inside the car cigarette lighter is a great place to stash a small amount of marijuana, cocaine, meth, narcotic painkillers etc.
Cleaning Supplies – Cleaning supply bottles when emptied or hollowed out make a great stash spot for kids and young adults. The same goes for canned food, jars, and WD-40 cans. This also can work with soda bottles, soda cans, coffee mugs, pet food cans, deodorant, Chap Stick, shaving cream, beer cans, water bottles, 2 liter soda bottles etc.
The Bottom of Wax Candles – Wax candles can either be bought with the intention of hiding drugs in them or made.
Shoes – Kids and young adults can either cut out the bottom of their shoes or buy shoes with a hidden spot to hide drugs.
Laptop Slots -Any place that opens up in a laptop can be a genius hiding spot for kids and young adults. The same goes for computer hardware and CD cases.
Bedding and Furniture -Any bedding or furniture place where kids and young adults can put drugs and other substances inside of something so they aren’t seen. For example, pillow cases, drawers, underwear drawers, inside of socks etc.
Many of these items are in a person’s home. Does this mean that all of them are used for drug paraphernalia? No. Noticing if a child or young adult’s behavior is changing is the first step. If all of a sudden the young adult or child in the home is not the person they once were it may be a good idea to consider looking for some of this drug paraphernalia.
If your loved one is in need of alcohol detox or treatment for alcoholism please give us a call at 800-951-6135.