Drug paraphernalia

Get to know the items used to engage in drug use

You already know the physical warning signs of substance use by kids, but it’s wise to know more about the paraphernalia used to engage in drug use.

What is drug paraphernalia? 

The term refers to any equipment that is used to produce, conceal and/or consume drugs. It includes items such as needles, bongs, roach clips, miniature spoons, and various types of pipes.

These items can exist in many forms. Some are specifically designed to look like everyday items that you might find in a teen’s room, backpack, purse, or car.

They can include products designed for legitimate purposes. Pens, glass balls, and tweezers can all be used as drug paraphernalia.

Marijuana Set

Drug paraphernalia are often marketed specifically to youth.

Using colorful logos, celebrity pictures, and designs like smiley faces, these items are meant to look harmless and attractive. Small, hand-painted blown glass items which look like pretty trinkets can be pipes or cannabis containers.

Where are drug paraphernalia sold?

Many manufacturers market their products online. They are also sold at cannabis retailers, tobacco shops, and even trendy gift and novelty shops, as well as gas stations.

What to watch out for

Finding any kind of drug paraphernalia in your kid’s belongings or in your home can be concerning – it may be an indicator that your teen has used or is considering using substances, or they may be protecting a friend.

Prepare yourself to have a calm conversation with your teen about your concerns, and continue to talk with your teen about the negative effects that using substances can have on their wellbeing.

If your teen continues to use substances on a regular basis, it may be time to intervene. Consider scheduling a consultation with their pediatrician to discuss the next steps for you to take to get the help your child may need.