If you think that someone you care about has been abusing substances, being able to identify drug paraphernalia can help you confirm your suspicions. This can be an important step toward connecting your loved one with professional help.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is an extremely broad term that can be applied to a variety of objects that may be used to store substances, to prepare drugs for use, or to aid people in the process of actually ingesting drugs:
- Some types of drug paraphernalia, such as bongs, pipes, and some storage devices, are created for the distinct purpose of facilitating substance abuse.
- Other types, such as spoons, paper clips, and straws, are common household items that can be adapted for this alternate purpose.
In today’s post, we are focusing on the second category, household items that are frequently repurposed into drug paraphernalia.
What Items are Often Used as Drug Paraphernalia?
The items listed below, which can be found in most households, are often used as drug paraphernalia.
Very small spoons (around the size you may see in souvenir stores) may be used to scoop cocaine, which is then inhaled directly from the spoon.
Larger spoons, like ones that are commonly included in a set of silverware for eating, can be incorporated into the process of preparing heroin to be injected. In this case, a person will place a small amount of heroin into the bowl of a spoon, then hold a lighter beneath the spoon.
This eventually causes the heroin to change from a solid into a liquid, at which point it can be drawn into a syringe and then injected into a person’s bloodstream.
It may surprise you to know that there is more than one possible answer to the question, “What are paper clips used for with drugs?” For example, here are two potential uses:
- Most commonly, paper clips can be unbent and used as pipe cleaners to remove residue from devices that are used to smoke marijuana.
- Paper clips can also be fashioned into “roach clips,” which allow marijuana users to light small joints without burning their fingers.
What do drug addicts use nail clippers for? Primarily to abuse cocaine.
- Some frequent cocaine users use nail clippers to craft one of their fingernails into a small cocaine spoon.
- People can also use the file that’s usually attached to nail clippers to scoop up a small amount of cocaine so they can easily snort it.
Tin foil is typically used to hold substances that are being heated so that their fumes can be inhaled.
What drugs use tin foil? Heroin, cocaine (particularly rock or crack cocaine) and methamphetamine (meth) are the drugs that are most commonly heated on tin foil.
Unlike most of the other common household items in this list, laundry detergent isn’t usually employed as a means of abusing substances. Rather, some drug dealers or manufacturers add laundry detergent to cocaine or heroin in order to make buyers think they are purchasing a larger amount of the drug.
This practice, which is known as “cutting” drugs, isn’t limited to laundry detergent. Powdered milk, baby powder, and aspirin are examples of other common items that can be used for this purpose.
Common uses for straws as drug paraphernalia include:
- To snort powdered drugs (such as cocaine or heroin).
- To inhale the fumes of drugs (such as heroin or meth) that have been heated.
What are toothpicks used for in drugs? Here are two examples:
- Toothpicks can be used to clean out residue from pipes that are used to smoke marijuana.
- Some people soak toothpicks in liquidized meth, then put the toothpick in their mouth as a way to get the drug into their system without calling attention to what they’re doing.
Nail Polish Remover
What do drug users use nail polish remover for? In most cases, they sniff its fumes it in an attempt to get high. Nail polish remover, liquid correction fluid, and aerosols are examples of common household items that people inhale (or “huff”) for recreational purposes
What Should You do if You Find Drug Paraphernalia?
Deciding what to do if you find drug paraphernalia can depend on a few important factors, including what you found, where you found it, and what type of relationship you have with the person who had it.
For example, if you find a bent spoon that has burn marks on the bottom, a bong, or a small glass pipe in your child’s room (or in a friend’s belongings), this strongly suggests that they have been engaging in substance abuse. This discovery should prompt a serious conversation to help you understand the nature of their drug use, which in turn can reveal if they need professional help for drug addiction.
On the other hand, if you find objects such as straws, nail polish, or tin foil, you may want to investigate further before expressing your concerns. These objects clearly have many uses – most of which are harmless – so you don’t want to jump to any conclusions.
Treatment Options for Drug Addiction
If you have been seeking addiction treatment for yourself or for a family member, it is worth taking the time to explore the many options that are available, so you can find the care that can best meet your needs, or those of your loved one.
One set of options involves levels of care. Depending on how a person has been impacted by addiction, they may benefit from spending time at one or more of the following levels:
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Partial hospitalization program
- Outpatient treatment
Some drug treatment centers offer both in-person and online options for people who are who are receiving care at the PHP, IOP, or outpatient level.
Within these various levels of care, a person’s addiction treatment options can include several types of therapy, such as:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
- Trauma therapy
No level of care or type of therapy works for everyone. This is why it can be so important to find an addiction treatment provider that can assess the full scope of your needs, then choose from an array of options to develop a personalized course of treatment just for you.
Contact Los Angeles Detox About Addiction Treatment Today
Los Angeles Detox offers customized treatment and comprehensive support for adults in the LA area who have become addicted to alcohol and other drugs. We also offer dual diagnosis programming for patients whose addiction struggles are accompanied by certain co-occurring mental health disorders.
The compassionate professionals at our center understand that addition impacts every person in a unique manner, and we are committed to providing a truly customized experience for everyone who turns to us in their time of need.
To learn more about our programs and services, or to schedule a free assessment for yourself or a family member, please visit our Contact page or call us today.