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Substance Abuse

Spot Common Drug Paraphernalia

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Drug paraphernalia are equipment or instruments that can be used to produce, conceal or consume illegal drugs. It is important to know which drugs require the use of certain drug paraphernalia and how these drugs are administered. Since the banning of possession of drug paraphernalia, the instruments are often disguised as everyday things, like ballpens, lighters and others.

drug paraphernaliaSpotting drug paraphernalia is especially challenging due to the fact that these products are marketed as though they were intended for legitimate purposes. Marijuana is a drug that is commonly administered through pipes and bongs. Most often, these instruments can also pass as paraphernalia for tobacco.

Most drugs that are sold in the street in powdered form are often sold in square pieces of shiny paper folded like an envelope. Some containers include plastic zip-lock bags, tiny plastic sacks, and glass vials. Tiny plastic sacks, often called 8-balls, are usually made so that these plastic bags will be easy to swallow to avoid detection. Drugs that are in liquid form are usually sold in small glass bottles or plastic squeeze bottles.

Powdered drugs, like PCP, heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth, require paraphernalia used to hold substances while being heated. These drugs are often administered through smoking or injection. Look for metal foil, glass or metal pipes and burnt items of pop cans or bottle caps which are common items used for smoking up drugs. The fumes are inhaled directly using a hollow tube. Injected drugs, like heroin or steroids, often use common syringes and elastics like surgical tubing for the veins.