How to Identify Drug ParaphernaliaLast Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
A critical part of understanding teen drug use is awareness about drug paraphernalia—the items kids use to hide or consume drugs. You may find these items in your child’s bedroom, car or backpack.
- Plastic baggies or small paper bags
- Cigarette packages
- Electronic-cigarettes (also called E-cigarettes)
- Small glass vials
- Pill bottles
- Candy or gum wrappers
- Baseball cap/ski cap
- Belt buckle
- Felt tip marker and lipstick dispensers
- Makeup bags
Drugs and Specific Paraphernalia
View the paraphernalia tab in our Identifying Drugs tool for images of all the paraphernalia listed below.
- Rolling papers
- Cigars used to fill with marijuana to make a blunt
- Pipes (metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, ceramic)
- Bongs (a filtration device to smoke marijuana)
- Roach clips (a metal holder for a marijuana cigarette)
- E-Cigarettes (to smoke marijuana concentrates)
- Tin foil
- Plastic pen case or cut up drinking straw
- Small spoon
- Small mirrors, small spoons, short plastic straws, rolled-up paper tubes
- Razor blades
- Glow sticks, surgical mask/dust mask
- Pacifiers and lollipops (to prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching)
- Bags of candy to hide pills
- Rags for sniffing
- Tubes of glue
- Bottles or aerosol cans with hardened glue, sprays, paint or chemical odors
Items used to cover up drug use.
- Mouth wash, mints, and breathe sprays
- Eye drops for bloodshot eyes
- Sun glasses for red eyes, changes in pupil size, or eye movements
Items or associations that may indicate interest in illegal drugs or drug use.
- Clothing, jewelry, tattoos, teen slang with drug culture messages.
- Websites, music, or publications that glamorize drug use.
Where do kids buy paraphernalia?
Over the Internet, at tobacco shops, head shops, gift and novelty shops, gas stations, and convenience stores.
Federal law states it is illegal for any person
- To sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
- To use the mail or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
- Import or export drug paraphernalia.
See Drug Paraphernalia, 21 U.S.C. 863, Controlled Substance Act Offenses and Penalties, www.DEA.gov
For more information on possession of drug paraphernalia, check your state’s drug paraphernalia laws found in the state’s criminal code.
Learn to identify different types of drugs through their pictures and descriptions.