Skip to content

5 Tips For Parents: Identifying Drug Paraphernalia

Suspecting that your baby might be using drugs or alcohol can be a very stressful, anxious feeling, especially if you don’t know what certain drugs or their paraphernalia look like to even have the ability to be on the lookout. If your gut is telling you that something is up, chances are something is up.

Don’t panic. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is a drug addict, they could be going through a bout of depression, partying too much, or stressing about something going on in their social circle. Those issues can be just as serious as drinking or using and can be explored through therapy and possibly medication.

However, this article is about drugs and the “tools” that people use to consume these drugs. It is wise to get and stay informed on addiction-related information and news — especially as overdose rates are soaring across the nation, and younger and younger children are finding themselves chemically dependent on certain mind or mood altering substances.

The Accomplices That Work With Drugs

I’m going to preface this list by stating that a lot of this may be confusing. Believe it or not, multiple studies have concluded that addicts and alcoholics generally have a higher IQ than their non-addicted friends. The tricks and tools used to ‘get high’ may seem unusual, but they’re used because, unfortunately, they work.

1. Pipes, bowls, and bongs: This is a tricky type of paraphernalia. If you’re unfamiliar with a lot of drugs or don’t know how they’re ingested, this can be tough. If you find something that looks like a pipe, it could be used for something not-so-serious like marijuana, or it could be used for something very-serious like crystal meth or crack cocaine. A “bowl” used for smoking marijuana looks like a long, thick, glass cylinder with an open-faced sphere on the end and is normally colorful or more aesthetically pleasing. A methamphetamine pipe typically is a long, clear, thin glass cylinder with a closed sphere on the end. Crack pipes are the simplest in design, essentially looking like a glass straw

2. Aluminum/Tin foil:  Aluminum foil is actually a very commonly used resource for smoking many different types of drugs — including heroin, prescription pills, meth, crack, cocaine, and even marijuana. If you’re finding small bits aluminum foil around their room or car, there’s a chance it’s being used for drugs. In order to narrow down the substance, you may need to confront them or take the found foil to someone who is more familiar with what drugs look like.

3. “Rose in a Glass” and copper wool scrubbing products: If you come across those little silk roses that are sold in convenience stores in your child’s possessions, it may be harmless. They may have thought it was cute or received it as a gift not knowing what it is. These little glass roses are, in fact, geniusly disguised crack pipes. Some convenience stores also have a “Silk Rose Special” where they will sell the silk rose and copper or steel wool in a “pack”. These products are used together to specifically smoke crack-cocaine.

4. Water bottle caps, bent or burnt spoons, ties or bandanas: Finding these items alone may not be a cause for concern, but if you’re finding them frequently or if you find them together, this can be a major red flag. Unfortunately, this means they are using their drug of choice intravenously. It doesn’t necessarily narrow down which drug, but it’s not alcohol or marijuana. This is very serious and you should speak to an addiction and treatment specialist or a doctor right away. Principles is available 24/7 to assist you during this tough time at 1-866-692-0909.

5. Cigarette wrappers and small baggies: The cellophane or plastic piece that surrounds a cigarette pack may appear burnt or melted, or you may stumble upon miniature sandwich bags. These materials are used for distributing, transporting, and containing different drugs. Many different drugs are sold this way, however, if you see any kind of residue in the interior of the bag, it’s most likely from cocaine or heroin. Keep an eye on their behavior — If you notice them “nodding out” or falling asleep sitting up, it’s most likely heroin or prescription painkillers. If they are hyper, alert, talkative, etc., then it’s clearly from a stimulant, like cocaine, meth, and crack.

Of course, this isn’t a complete list of the paraphernalia out there today. Have you found something odd that you find suspicious? Do you feel uncomfortable talking to a friend or family member about it? Here at Principles Recovery Center, not only are we experts when it comes to this stuff, but we never judge anyone seeking help.

Call us now at 1-866-692-0909.


Related News

Call Now Button