If you have a loved one in your life who you think could be struggling with drug addiction, it can help to know the signs of addiction. It can be helpful to know what exactly to look for when we suspect someone has a drug problem.
One sign that someone may be using drugs is finding paraphernalia on them or in their home or vehicle. There are different ways of ingesting drugs, and depending on the type of drug, different tools or paraphernalia are needed to prepare them.
Below is a list of various drugs and drug paraphernalia or tools that are often used when taking addictive substances.
- Rolling papers. Marijuana is placed in these papers and then rolled up like a cigarette before they are smoked.
- Cigars. If rolling papers are not available, marijuana can be placed into a cigar, and that can be smoked instead.
- Bongs. Bongs are a device in which marijuana leaves are placed in the bottom, and water is heated, which then creates steam that is inhaled. Bongs can be made of many different types of materials and can be different sizes.
- Roach clips. These metal types of clips have been around for many years. They are designed users to hold the end of the marijuana “joint” so that they don’t burn their fingers. These can be different colors and designs.
- E-cigarettes. These are relatively new, but e-cigs allow users to place marijuana concentrate inside and then smoke it.
- Pipes. People will use various types of pipes to smoke marijuana. They can be made of glass, wood, stone, metal, ceramic, and more.
- Razor blades. Razor blades are easily recognizable as a tool for cocaine use. People use the blade to cut and divide a line of cocaine to snort.
- Mirror. Users will often put a line of coke on a small mirror when they cut it with a razor blade. Blades and small mirrors are easy to transport around.
- Pipes or straws. Cocaine users will divide the drug into small lines and then use a small pipe or straw to snort it through their nose.
- Lighter. Cocaine can be smoked, and users will roll it and then need a lighter to start it going.
- Snuff bullets. These objects are old fashioned but useful for carrying a pinch of coke. The bottoms unscrew, allowing for the inside to be filled.
- Strange jewelry. It is possible for the cocaine user to take jewelry and hollow it out. This allows for hiding and easy transporting.
- Baggie. Very often, marijuana is sold in small baggies. It is common for pot users to keep their stash in these baggies as well.
- Needles. Heroin can be injected, and users will need needles to do this.
- Shoelace or some other tie off. To inject heroin, users will need to tie off an area to increase blood flow to the area that is being injected. This allows the heroin to enter the bloodstream for an immediate rush.
- Spoon. Heroin users will need a spoon to place the drug in and cook it to make it liquid. This is needed for injection.
- Lighter. A lighter is used as a heat source under the spoon when cooking heroin and turning it into liquid form.
- Tin foil. Users who want to smoke heroin will place it on a piece of tin foil and heat it.
- Straw or empty pen case. Heroin users will need a straw or straw-like object to inhale the smoke from the heroin on the tin foil.
- Rolling papers or pipe. Heroin users can also roll the drug into cigarette papers or a pipe to be smoked.
- Rolled up bills. Occasionally, heroin users will use a rolled-up bill or straw to snort the drug.
- Baggies. Heroin users may purchase or keep their heroin powder in a small baggie.
- Mentholated vapor rubs. Vapor rubs are used to help ecstasy users breathe deeper, thereby increasing how much of the drug can be inhaled deeply. Additionally, users claim the tingling sensation from the vapor rub heightens the effect of ecstasy.
- Inhalers. Inhalers are used in the same way vapor rubs are. They are used to enhance and deepen the effect of ecstasy.
- Surgical or painter’s masks. Some users will coat the inside of the masks with menthol. Again, the object is to use the menthol to heighten the effect of ecstasy.
- Candy necklaces or rings. Often, these candy items are really disguising ecstasy. Users can wear these, especially in a club or party settings, without causing too much suspicion.
- Baggies. Ecstasy can also be snorted in powder form. In many instances, users will keep the stash or purchase some in a little baggie.
- Compact mirror. To snort ecstasy (MDMA, Molly), users may have a little mirror so they can lay the drug on it.
- Straw or rolled-up bills. Again, if users are planning to snort Molly, they will need a rolled up bill or small straw to help them do this
- Small paper squares. It is common for LSD to be applied to tiny paper squares. These squares might have pictures or cartoons on them.
- Sugar cubes. Initially, LSD was put in sugar cubes to be dissolved in the mouth. A baggie of sugar cubes could be a cause for concern.
- Colored jello. This could be another sign of LSD. It is possible for users to mix LSD in gelatin and then carry it around in a baggie.
- Tiny tablets. Again, LSD can be served on tiny candy-colored tablets. This makes them seem to be candy and perhaps inconspicuous.
- Aerosol cans. Aerosol cans are used as a delivery system for inhalants. Users inhale the contents of the can, which are sometimes cleaners, air fresheners, or other substances like glue.
- Balloons. Balloons can be used to inhale nitrous oxide.
- Rags. Rags can be soaked with inhalants and then placed over the mouth and nose to be inhaled.
It is evident that everyday objects can be used for doing drugs. It is important to recognize that these common objects can lead a double life. If you suspect that a loved one may be using drugs, or if you’ve found drug paraphernalia, you might want to sit down and have a loving conversation with your loved one. Let the person know you are concerned and that you’d like to know the truth.
Keep in mind that they might not be honest with you. Or, they might tell you they are using drugs but have it under control. Keep the lines of communication open, and be honest about your feelings about any drug use going on. You won’t be able to make that person stop, but you can set some boundaries.
If you’re struggling emotionally over your loved one’s drug use, consider reaching out for professional help or a support group. Of course, you can encourage your loved one to do the same. However, even if they choose not to reach out, you can still take care of yourself emotionally. It can be quite valuable to have some support when you’re concerned about your loved one.
Don’t delay; call (561) 475-4613 now or contact us online and take the first step toward your best happy, healthy, and sober life now!
Get Smart About Drugs. How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia. Retrieved from from https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/content/how-identify-drug-paraphernalia
VeryWell Mind. A Parent’s Guide to Drug Paraphernalia. Retrieved from from https://www.verywellmind.com/drug-paraphernalia-photo-gallery-4020396
Thought Co. Drug Paraphernalia Pictures. Retrieved from from https://www.thoughtco.com/drug-paraphernalia-pictures-4064207