What exactly is drug paraphernalia? Where can it be found? What is it used for? Is it illegal? If you have asked yourself any of these questions then you are in the right place! Below we will go over some of the common information found when dealing with drug paraphernalia.
By definition, drug paraphernalia is any equipment or materials used to take drugs (or in laymen’s terms anything that an addict can modify to smoke or snort drugs with). Drug paraphernalia can be bought or even homemade depending on what drugs the addict is trying to digest, many homemade tools are used by teenagers as they do not have access to buying these items. Being in possession of drug paraphernalia means that the addict is using drugs recreationally. The most common drugs that addicts will use paraphernalia with are marijuana, cocaine, heroin and even methamphetamine. It is also important to understand that having any drug paraphernalia is illegal and can lead to some serious consequences.
Marijuana, being the most popular drug, probably has the widest range of accessories when it comes to drug paraphernalia. The materials are usually sold at head shops, smoke shops, gas stations, convenience stores and even online. The seller gets away with this because they claim it is for tobacco use and/or smoking hookah. Smoking hookah is becoming more and more popular, as it is not illegal the items used to smoke hookah can be considered drug paraphernalia. Some of the legal purchased that can be found locally are a bong, rolling paper, a bowl, roach clip, grinder, and scale.
- Bong- Also known as a water pipe, used to smoke marijuana through a filtration.
- Rolling paper – Typically used to roll cigarettes, but cannabis smokers use this to roll pot and smoke as a joint.
- A Bowl – A small portable pipe used to smoke marijuana.
- Roach Clip – A small metal clip used to hold roach so you do not burn your fingers.
- Grinder – A container used to “grind” up marijuana.
- Scale – A portable scale used to measure the cannabis’s weight.
Addicts who cannot afford or do not have access to the items listed above will become creative with homemade drug paraphernalia. Some common household items that they will use to modify will be listed below. (I do not want to get into much detail as I do not want to give any teenagers any ideas!)
- Pen Pipe
- Apple turned into a bowl
- Water bottle bong
- Tinfoil bong
Drug paraphernalia does not discriminate, meaning marijuana is not the only drug that addicts can utilize objects to get high. Cocaine paraphernalia may not have a wide range like cannabis, but no matter your drug of choice it all is still illegal. Common examples for cocaine when snorting the drug is; cut straws, rolled up dollar bills with cocaine residue on it, and even a hand mirror. A lot of people do not know that you can also smoke cocaine which then would include glass pipes and steel wool. Heroin and methamphetamine paraphernalia can mirror marijuana or cocaine accessories as the drug can be smoked or snorted. Though, the most common drug paraphernalia for heroin and methamphetamine is a needle. Addicts will inject the drug directly into their veins. Other materials that are often used are spoons, tin foil, pill bottles, plastic baggies.
Getting caught with drug paraphernalia is illegal in all states, but some states are stricter than others. Depending on where you get arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia you can be looking at a misdemeanor or even a felony. Whether you are buying the items or selling them the law remains the same.
Addicts will rarely leave drugs around as that is precious cargo for them. If you are suspicious of an addict using any drugs, start by searching for drug paraphernalia. If they have any of the items listed above, then there is no doubt that they are using a mind altering substance and need help. As drug paraphernalia is used for illegal and recreational drug use the individual containing these items can be very dangerous.
If you find your loved one with drug paraphernalia, you should take these steps to ensure that the drug abuse will end. First, educate yourself on the drug and its effects. Second, do your research on programs or facilities that can help the individual. Third, have a discussion with the using individual and remember to keep your emotions out of it! Lastly, offer support and set rules. This will ensure the addict that they are in a safe place and can communicate openly without feeling judged. Set rules meaning tell them there is zero tolerance for drug use and they can either get professional help if they are very deep into substance abuse or they will go to AA/NA meetings and be drug tested weekly. Let the addict know there is always options and you are there to guide them.
Drug paraphernalia is no joke and if found do not take lightly. A loved one can be suffering and in need of help and support. Substance abuse is a very complex and dangerous road to go down, the sooner you nip it in the behind the better!
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