What Drug Paraphernalia May Look Like

Identifying Drug Paraphernalia: A Complete Guide

What Drug Paraphernalia May Look Like

If you’ve noticed that your loved one has a collection of strange objects that they say is for tobacco use only, you might have stumbled onto their drug paraphernalia. Surprisingly, paraphernalia is often easy for people to get. In fact, many types of drug paraphernalia now look common household items.

If you are concerned about somebody you know being in possession of drug paraphernalia, this guide is here to walk you through what to look for, the next steps to take after finding paraphernalia, and treatment options that can help your loved one heal from a drug addiction.

Why Do People Use Drug Paraphernalia?

Simply put, drug paraphernalia are objects that are made and used for the purpose of injecting, inhaling, or snorting drugs.

A lot of paraphernalia is branded as a way to consume tobacco, which is why stores can legally sell it.

Pipes, e-cigarettes, vapes, and hookahs are readily available at places called head shops, but the dangers go way beyond just tobacco consumption when people use this paraphernalia for illegal drug use.

For people who struggle with drug addiction, owning drug paraphernalia can be a huge warning sign, even if they say it is only for tobacco use. Not only does paraphernalia make it easy to use drugs, but a lot of types of paraphernalia are indistinguishable from common objects you would use every day. 

This means that people can take apart pens, markers, lipstick containers, and more to create homemade paraphernalia. What’s most alarming about this is that a lot of drug paraphernalia can be discreetly used anywhere: at home, in a car, at work, etc. Marijuana paraphernalia, for example, can look just regular cigarettes or vapes.

But it’s important to know that there are serious legal consequences that come with the possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug use in any capacity, of course, is also incredibly dangerous and can even be life threatening. Additionally, if your loved one owns paraphernalia, it could be a sign of something bigger, including mental health issues and drug addiction.

So, if you’ve noticed your loved one carrying around something that you suspect might be paraphernalia but you aren’t quite sure, looking at drug paraphernalia pictures and familiarizing yourself with the types of paraphernalia can give you a head start on evaluating their risk for drug use, addiction, and potential mental health crises.

What Are the Types of Drug Paraphernalia?

Even though the possession of drug equipment is illegal, many people depend on these tools when they are struggling with addiction. There are many different types of paraphernalia, including:

  • Bags—Anything that is used to store drugs is considered paraphernalia. This includes plastic baggies, paper bags, makeup bags, and more.
  • Spoons—These are commonly used as heroin and cocaine paraphernalia. Note that a drug spoon is often smaller than the type of utensil you would use to eat with.
  • Drug pipes—Any type of pipe can be used to smoke or inhale illegal substances, including marijuana and cocaine.
  • Homemade paraphernalia—Household objects straws, compact mirrors, hollowed out writing instruments, razor blades, tin foil, and face masks can be used to hide, store, and use varying types of drugs.

Ultimately, if somebody that you care about has any of these items, it doesn’t guarantee that they are struggling with a drug addiction. There are many other signs of addiction to be aware of, especially if you’ve found paraphernalia. Indications of addiction might look :

  • Carrying around drug paraphernalia
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Worsening mental health symptoms
  • Turning to drugs or alcohol in times of stress
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms when not using

If any of the signs listed above look familiar, the best thing to do would be to contact a treatment facility that specializes in addiction and mental health recovery.

What Are the Next Steps?

Luckily, Ridgeview Hospital is a treatment facility located in Ohio that is specially made to help you and your loved one heal from the struggles of addiction. At Ridgeview, you will have the opportunity to learn how to cope with life stressors in a safe, calm environment. 

In addition to our dual diagnosis treatment that addresses both addiction and mental health concerns, the treatment options you’ll have at Ridgewood are made so that you can achieve your mental health, physical health, and social life goals. You will have access to:

  • Psychological assessments
  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Activity and exercise programs
  • Group therapy
  • Twelve-step groups
  • Process groups

It might seem easy and even tempting to own paraphernalia but the truth is that these objects only make it more challenging to stay away from substances that could significantly impact your wellbeing.

In treatment, not only will you have the chance to heal from the struggles of addiction, but at Ridgeview you will also learn valuable skills to help you stay away from drug paraphernalia and the urges to turn back to old habits. 

If you would to learn more about the dangers of drug paraphernalia and addiction as well as how you can find a healthier, happier lifestyle, please give us a call at 419-968-2950 or submit a confidential contact form to hear back from our admission specialists soon.

Finding out that your loved one is in possession of drug paraphernalia can be shocking and even frightening. After all, owning paraphernalia is a warning sign for drug addiction.

The first thing you should do if you find drug paraphernalia is to speak to a mental health professional at a recovery facility who can help you to understand if your loved one might be suffering from addiction.

From there, you will be able to learn about treatment options and find hope that your loved one will soon recover from this deadly disorder.

Household objects hollowed out pens are frequently used as drug paraphernalia. Taking pens apart is just one way to inhale certain substances such as marijuana, meth, and cocaine. Of course, this makes it more challenging to identify if your loved one is using drugs.

The criminal offenses for possession of drug paraphernalia vary by state. In Ohio, if you own, use, or sell paraphernalia, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. This charge often results in a hefty fee that you would need to pay, as well as the threat of losing your driver’s license.

At surface level, “paraphernalia” simply refers to specific equipment that is required to participate in different activities. However, drug paraphernalia is unique to objects that are used for drug consumption either by snorting, injecting, or inhaling.

Источник: https://ridgeviewhospital.net/identifying-drug-paraphernalia-a-complete-guide/

Drug Paraphernalia — The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab

What Drug Paraphernalia May Look Like

The discovery of drug paraphernalia can be strong evidence that someone is using drugs. A person can spot paraphernalia if they know which type of drug the person may be using and which methods of consumption they are using. The most common methods of drug ingestion and the associated drugs are:

  • Inhaling: gasoline, nitrites (poppers), aerosols (whip-its)
  • Injecting: heroin, methamphetamine
  • Smoking: marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine
  • Snorting: cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine
  • Swallowing (oral ingestion): alcohol, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and methamphetamine

What Is Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia includes equipment or tools used for making, concealing or consuming drugs. Paraphernalia can include items used with legal or illegal drugs, but usually refers to the latter.

Each drug has a different type of paraphernalia commonly associated with it. Typically paraphernalia is categorized the ingestion method and not the drug itself. For example, the drugs methamphetamine and heroin can be injected, so they share paraphernalia used for injection.

Types of Paraphernalia

  • Paraphernalia Linked to Alcohol Abuse:
    • Bottles and cans of alcohol
    • Drinking vessels water bottles, flasks and coffee cups
    • Cocktail shakers, shot glasses and other barware
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Cocaine Abuse:
    • Glass or metal pipes
    • Butane (torch) lighters
    • Small mirrors
    • Plastic straws, rolled-up paper tubes or rolled-up dollar bills
    • Razor blades
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Ecstasy & Club Drug Abuse:
    • Glow sticks
    • Surgical or dust masks
    • Pacifiers
    • Lollipops
    • Bags of candy
    • Empty gelatin capsules
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Heroin Abuse:
    • Needles and syringes
    • Spoons, typically with burn marks on the bottom
    • Cotton balls
    • Butane (torch) lighters
    • Tinfoil
    • Glass or metal pipes
    • Plastic pen case
    • Drinking straw
    • Small mirrors
    • Razor blades
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Inhalant Abuse:
    • Tubes of glue
    • Bottles or aerosol cans with hardened glue, sprays, paint or chemical odors
    • Rags
    • Balloons
    • Nozzles
    • Small brown glass bottles
  • Paraphernalia Linked to LSD Abuse:
    • Sugar cubes
    • Gelatin
    • Blotter paper decorated with art or designs, similar in size and look to postage stamps
    • Eyedropper bottles
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Marijuana & Synthetic Marijuana Abuse:
    • Rolling papers
    • Cigar or cigar papers
    • Pipes made from wood, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic
    • Bongs
    • Roach clips, a metal holder for a marijuana cigarette or joint
    • E-Cigarettes
  • Paraphernalia Linked to Methamphetamine Abuse:
    • Needles and syringes
    • Spoons, typically with burn marks on the bottom
    • Cotton balls
    • Butane (torch) lighters
    • Tinfoil
    • Glass or metal pipes
    • Plastic pen case
    • Drinking straw
    • Small mirrors
    • Razor blades

Is Paraphernalia Illegal?

Paraphernalia used to consume illegal drugs is illegal under federal law in the United States. Even without possessing a drug, possessing paraphernalia is illegal if it can be linked to the consumption of an illegal drug. Paraphernalia often retains traces of drugs, long after use.

Possession of paraphernalia a criminal charge that will usually result in penalties fines and jail time. Although possession charges are typically classified as misdemeanors, the penalties can be amplified circumstances (e.g., if the person charged has been charged for possession in a school zone or if they’ve been charged with possession before).

Paraphernalia possession charges can stick to a person’s criminal record and can make it difficult to find employment.

How Do People Use Drugs?

If you suspect your loved one may be using drugs — maybe they are exhibiting common signs of addiction, changes in appearance, worsening health, suspicious behavior and suddenly performing poorly in school — consider looking for common drug paraphernalia.

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot paraphernalia because many are designed to look items that can be used for legitimate purposes. Some are items with legitimate purposes.

Ultimately, drug paraphernalia by itself is not total evidence of drug use. However, paraphernalia is an initial indication that drug use may be happening.

Where Do People Buy Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is usually purchased online. Online shopping is popular with people using drugs because it offers them a fast and easy way to privately buy paraphernalia. A variety of websites dedicate themselves to selling paraphernalia, and some can even be found on creative and craft websites Etsy.

Some items are also available at brick-and-mortar locations tobacco shops, head shops, novelty stores, gift shops and gas stations. Head-shop stores are mostly dedicated to selling drug paraphernalia, particularly items to smoke marijuana with. Although selling drug paraphernalia is illegal, the stores operate by advertising the items as use with tobacco only.

Where Do People Hide Their Drugs?

If someone is using drugs, drug paraphernalia may be located in plain sight. However, oftentimes people who use drugs do not want to get caught by friends, family or other authority figures; therefore, hiding places may be clever. Some paraphernalia is intended to look other objects.

Drugs and paraphernalia may be hidden in an individual’s personal space, so looking through their belongings may be an invasion of privacy. People should always consider speaking with a loved one about suspected drug use before looking through their belongings.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug paraphernalia can indicate drug use and possibly a drug addiction. If you are concerned about a loved one, consider speaking to them about your concerns. The person should always be brought into the decision-making process and treatment should never be forced on anyone. Addiction treatment is not successful if it is forced on someone unwillingly.

If you or a loved one have identified an addiction (or think there might be one), The Recovery Village has resources available to help. We can help identify and locate potential treatment options, such as inpatient or outpatient drug rehab.

Источник: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/drug-addiction/drug-paraphernalia/

Drug Paraphernalia in 2021: What to Look For

What Drug Paraphernalia May Look Like

Drug paraphernalia is a strong indicator of drug use, and thanks to the internet, it is more available than ever in 2021. Knowing what to look for could be the difference between stopping a drug habit before it starts and a full blown addiction. 

Learn how to recognize drug paraphernalia, the drugs it’s associated with, and what to do if you suspect drug use. 

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Paraphernalia is a big word for equipment or stuff, in this case drug equipment or stuff that allows a person to use a substance (usually an illegal substance). In this way, drug paraphernalia could also refer to containers that store drugs, items that hide them, or objects that measure drugs (i.e. drug scales). 

Drug paraphernalia can be bought online or in brick and mortar smoke shops (also known as head shops). This is legal as long as the consumer is over 18 and the drug equipment is advertised for the use of legal substances (such as tobacco). 

Alternatively, drug-related tools can be made from household objects. A quick Google search of “homemade bong,” “how to make a pipe,” or “how to smoke a can” will return numerous DIY instructions for making homemade drug paraphernalia.

Given the ease with which drug paraphernalia can be purchased or produced, drug paraphernalia is here to stay. Naturally, understanding what these items look and what they are used for will offer valuable insight into if drugs are being used.

Types of Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia varies depending on the type of drug being used and the method of use. For instance, the most frequent methods of taking drugs are smoking, snorting, injecting, swallowing, or inhaling (i.e. whippits). Examples of tools used to take drugs are indicated below by drug type (in addition to these descriptions, drug paraphernalia pictures can be found online).

Methamphetamine (Meth)

Meth comes in solid or powder form and is easily dissolved in liquid. Therefore, meth can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. Any of the below items could indicate the occurrence of meth use. 

Meth paraphernalia:

  • Rolled up bills, straws, hollowed out pens, or narrow metal pipes (used for snorting meth)
  • Small mirrors and razor blades (used for cutting meth)
  • Burnt spoons, lighters, or tin foil (used for cooking meth)
  • Glass or metal pipes (for smoking meth)
  • Tubing, lacing, or syringes (for injecting meth)
  • Dried up cotton balls (used to strain meth)

Cocaine (Coke)

Cocaine generally comes in white rock or powder form and is most often crushed and snorted. However, cocaine can also be smoked, swallowed, or dissolved and injected. Therefore, cocaine paraphernalia can include many of the same tools as methamphetamine. 

Cocaine paraphernalia: 

  • Straws, hollow pens, or rolled up paper or bills (for snorting cocaine)
  • Small mirrors, credit cards, or razor blades (for cutting cocaine)
  • Lighters and glass or metal pipes (for smoking cocaine)
  • Tubing, lacing, or syringes (for injecting cocaine)


GHB (or “G”) is a clear, odorless liquid that is swallowed in very small amounts. Thus, tools used to ingest GHB are usually small and able to hold liquid. 

GHB paraphernalia: 

  • Twist-off bottle caps
  • Plastic syringes (without a needle)
  • Bottles or jugs with clear, syrupy substance

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy usually comes in a pill form or in capsules (i.e., Molly/MDMA). MDMA and ecstasy are considered a club drugs and are often consumed in rave type atmospheres. Therefore, along with the ecstasy paraphernalia below, glow sticks, lollipops, and candy that can be sucked on are also included with items that may indicate ecstasy or MDMA use.

Ecstasy paraphernalia: 

  • Colorful, stamped pills
  • Empty capsules, or capsules filled with a white powder
  • Menthol inhalers (said to increase intensity of the drug)


While heroin resembles cocaine in its true form, it is generally cut with substances that give it a brown or black color tone. Heroin can be powder or tar- in texture, and can be snorted, injected, swallowed, or smoked.

Heroin paraphernalia: 

  • Rolled up bills, straws, hollowed out pens, or narrow metal pipes (used for snorting heroin)
  • Small mirrors and razor blades (used for cutting heroin)
  • Burnt spoons, bottle caps, lighters, or tin foil (used for cooking heroin)
  • Glass or metal pipes (for smoking heroin)
  • Tubing, lacing, or syringes (for injecting heroin)
  • Dried up cotton balls (used to strain heroin)

Marijuana (Weed)

Marijuana (weed/cannabis) is one of the most widely used drugs and is legal in some states.

Despite its legality, marijuana use can still be a concern, especially when it is abused in an addictive manner (i.e, it replaces healthy coping mechanisms or becomes an all-consuming focus).

And regardless of state laws, it is still illegal for someone underage to possess marijuana paraphernalia.  

Marijuana paraphernalia:

  • Pipes or bongs
  • Joints, rolling paper, rolling trays, and roach clips (metal clips that hold a joint)
  • Vape pens or e-cigarettes
  • Dab rigs or dab pens (for marijuana concentrates)
  • Grinders
  • Lighters

Keep in mind that vape pens and e-cigarettes will not always look drug paraphernalia. Often, these items are disguised to look everyday items regular pens, jewelry, USB drives, or phone cases. 


Inhalants drugs are usually-legal, household products that are inhaled by someone trying to get high.

These substances are either inhaled directly from the product packaging or rags and bags are used to transfer the product (these practices are often referred to as “huffing”).

Inhalants drug examples include hair spray, spray paints, cooking sprays, or other aerosol items, as well as solvents, and nitrite substances (“poppers”).

Currently, inhalants drug abuse is one of the few substance use disorders that is more common among people who are underage. 

Inhalants paraphernalia: 

  • Plastic or paper bags
  • Rags, bandanas, scarves, or diapers (to inhale product from)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Markers 
  • Cotton balls (to soak, then inhale from)
  • Soda cans (to inhale product from)
  • Balloons (to inhale product from)

Usually, these items are legal so looking for unusual patterns will help detect whether they are being abused inappropriately. 

Paraphernalia Used to Hide or Stash Drugs

Items that conceal drugs can also be considered drug paraphernalia. Consequently, hiding drugs in plain sight is made possible by items hollowed out books, fake soda cans, makeup containers with stash spots for drugs, specially designed writing utensils, and even in vehicles.

Items Used to Hide Physical Drug Use Symptoms

Seemingly innocent products, if found with drug paraphernalia, can be considered a warning sign for drug use. These include items that would conceal physical symptoms of drug use such as:

  • Eye drops
  • Breath mints or mouth washes
  • Sunglasses
  • Body sprays or other fragrances
  • Long-sleeved clothing in warm weather

Is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Illegal?

Drug possession laws will vary by state. However, in many states, paraphernalia in and of itself is not illegal.

However, once the item has been used to consume an illegal substance, it is considered drug paraphernalia, and possession of drug paraphernalia is punishable by law.

You do not need to have the actual drug on you to face charges, drug paraphernalia charges can be assessed if there is any residue in the drug equipment, which sticks around long after use. 

Drug Paraphernalia Laws in Florida

The drug paraphernalia definition in Florida is, “All equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, transporting, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.” 

In Florida, possession of drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor and punishable by fines and jail time.

Confronting Drug Use

Finding drug paraphernalia is a strong indicator of drug use. Knowing what to look for (and what drug slang terms to listen for), can help you determine if confronting someone over drug use is in order. 

Research suggests the best way to confront someone about drug use is to offer compassionate, practical support rather than making hostile, accusatory statements. However, each situation is different, and discussions about drug use should be tailored according to the individual drug user.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction in Florida

At the Blackberry Center in St. Cloud, Florida, we are experts in drug addiction treatment. Our accredited drug rehab center offers numerous programs to fit your individual needs, including drug detox, inpatient drug treatment, and a partial hospitalization program. 

At our drug and alcohol treatment center, it is our mission to support you through the entire rehabilitation process, from before treatment to life in recovery.  

To learn more about our programs or to get started on recovery today, contact our drug rehab admissions team at 888-512-9802 or use our confidential online form. Overcoming drug addiction is possible, and the Blackberry Center can help.  

Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, in Central Florida, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal.

Источник: https://www.theblackberrycenter.com/drug-paraphernalia-in-2021-do-you-know-what-to-look-for/

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