If you suspect your child is using drugs, you may be tempted to find evidence. While you may be reluctant because it may feel like snooping, sometimes it is vital in helping your child. Identifying what substances they are using can help you determine what course of action to take and what resources to connect with in searching for treatment options.
Teens can be innovative when it comes to hiding evidence of substance abuse. They may be hidden in their room, their bathroom, or even the car. If you suspect something is going on with your child, it is better to know with certainty than to speculate and allow it to continue.
Common Hiding Spots for Drugs or Alcohol
Everyday items can be easily turned into a hiding spot for drugs, or even be converted into a tool to use them. The typical teen’s room is disheveled. They may leave clothes everywhere, have food or candy lying around, and other items such as deodorant, hair spray, or school items scattered around. While this may seem like a normal scene, there are countless places where drugs may be hiding in plain sight. Some of the most common items teens use include:
- Writing utensils: Pens and highlighters are commonly used for school and may seem innocent enough, but they can also be used to hide drugs. Marijuana, pills, or powdered drugs can be easily concealed in these. Wide-barreled highlighters can easily be turned into a pipe and the caps can be used to store drugs. Pens can easily have the centers removed and be used to snort powdered drugs.
- Cans and wrappers: If you notice a can or wrapper that rarely moves, it may be used to conceal drugs or paraphernalia. Candy wrappers and containers, such as mint tins, can hide drugs in plain sight. If your child constantly has one on them, it may be worth investigating.
- Personal hygiene items and makeup: Any container for personal hygiene items or makeup can easily be converted into storage for drugs or alcohol. These products can be hollowed out and left in plain sight without second thought.
- Belt buckles: Some belt buckles have been refashioned to store drugs. Once flipped over, there is a sliding compartment on the back that can be removed.
- Posters: If you notice a crooked poster or a picture with the tape peeling up on a corner, there may be something stashed behind it. Some drugs can be flattened and stored behind hanging art. They may be taped up on the wall behind it or stored inside picture frames.
- Books: Hiding drugs or alcohol in books is often a popularly publicized location. Cutting out pages and or hollowing the middle of a book can create a storage compartment for substances.
- Mattresses: Under the mattress is a popular hiding location for drugs or alcohol, but sometimes, they may even cut holes or slits into it to store them. Check under the sheets to see if the mattress has been damaged.
- In toys: Just like with mattresses, teens may cut secret compartments into toys to hide paraphernalia. If you notice your teen takes their stuffed animal with them to places, it may be because it is their hiding place.
- In the car: Cars are a common location to hide drugs or alcohol. Under the seat, in compartments, in the truck, or even under the dashboard or hood of the vehicle can all be used for this. Random car checks may help you determine if something seems out of place.
- In the bathroom or in vents: Vents can easily be removed and replaced to hide large quantities of drugs or alcohol. Other popular hiding spots include under the toilet tank lid and even behind the toilet itself.
- Behind light switches: The plates on light switches can easily be removed and make for a great hiding place. You can easily check behind outlet plates or light switches to see if something is concealed.
Pay attention to the signs. If you suspect your child’s behaviors and patterns are indicators that substance abuse may be occurring, do not be afraid to search for evidence. Finding drugs, alcohol, and paraphernalia may be a scary thought, but it is worse to let it continue unchecked.
Do you suspect your son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol and needs help?
Call 800.465.0142 to speak with an admissions counselor today.