Signs of Drug Use In Teens: DEA Publishes List of Possible Drug Hiding Places
Last month the Drug Enforcement Administration published a new edition to the website Get Smart About Drugs, with this introduction:
“All parents strive to have an open and honest relationship with their teens. However, if your young loved one is dealing with drug addiction, they often become secretive, and as parents, you may find answers in their rooms or vehicles.”
What follows are sliding images along with descriptions of creative places that teenagers have been known to be hiding drugs. Among these include:
- Alarm clocks.The site states that digital clocks can be used as hiding places, such as in baggies in the battery compartment.
- Graphing calculators. Similar to alarm clocks, drugs can be hidden in the battery compartments of calculators.
- Highlighters. Drugs can be stashed in the caps.
- Shoes. Baggies can be hidden in shoes, often up by the toe area so they can’t be seen.
- Candy wrappers. Drugs such as ecstasy tablets that look like candy can be easily hidden among real candy.
- Posters. Drugs can be hidden behind posters in walls or taped flat against the wall.
- Heating vents – Wall vents can be used to store just about anything.
- Stuffed animals like teddy bears. Drugs can be hidden inside the seams of stuffed toys and dolls.
- Cars. More than the just the glove box, there are many places in a car that drugs can be easily stashed.
- Game consoles.
I don’t think anyone is advocating that you, as a parent, should be needlessly rummaging through a teenager’s items and violating his or her privacy. However, if you see warning signs of drug use, you may want to consider what seemingly innocuous items your child owns that could be serving as a drug hiding places for drugs or paraphernalia.
The DEA also mentions some signs of drug use in teens to look for, which include (1) disinterest in school, (2) a lack of interest in clothing, (30 new friends, and (4) excessive attempts to be alone. Of course, all of this could simply mean that your teen is depressed or moody so I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions based on the presence of one or two of these signs alone.
Fortunately, most data shows that teen drug use, other than marijuana, is on the decline. And if that’s the worst thing you have worry about it, at least you don’t need to be in fear of a fatal overdose.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology