Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Related to Cocaine Use

Depending upon the method of ingestion, your teen may possess or reference in conversation with friends a number of different paraphernalia items in the use of crack and/or cocaine. In most cases, these items are not purchased but instead are everyday items that are repurposed for drug use and abuse. The use of everyday items can camouflage the abuse of cocaine at first – for example, a hand mirror or rolled up dollar bill may not look odd at first glance – but closer investigation will reveal powdery residue that indicates drug use.

The best way to identify cocaine abuse in your teen is to keep an eye out for the odd or unusual choices in possessions or white residue on a number of different average items. Your son is likely working hard to hide them from you, so consider the following information as you determine what is paraphernalia and what isn’t.

If you find paraphernalia related to the use of cocaine or any illicit substance among your teen’s possessions, don’t wait to intervene. The earlier you act and get your son the help he needs, the more effective his rehabilitation will be. A new life that prioritizes positive and healthy choices starts for your child when you contact us at Muir Wood today.

Snorting Cocaine

There are multiple steps to snorting cocaine – the most common way that teens abuse the drug – all of which require paraphernalia. First, the drug is purchased in powder form, usually in tiny, clear, re-sealable plastic bags. You may find these discarded in your son’s room, backpack or pockets, each with telltale white residue in the corners.

Available on the market are a wide range of products with hidden compartments that may be used to conceal cocaine. Among them are jewelry items like rings for girls and dog tags for boys, pens, watches, stop watches – almost anything you can imagine. They are hollow and have the sole purpose of allowing the owner to carry around cocaine without getting caught. Items specific to cocaine use may have smaller compartments to accommodate those who would use them to snort just a little bit of the drug at a time – a “one hitter.”

In most cases of recreational use, the drug must be transferred to a flat surface and “chopped up” to make the powder as fine as possible and divided into lines. This flat surface must be completely flat as well as non-textured and non-porous. Teens often use a mirror, any flat glass item or a CD case. Additionally, something to “chop” the drug is necessary, often a driver’s license or another card they keep in their wallet.

To snort the drug, your teen may use any found hollow item. Commonly used are rolled up dollar bills or pieces of a drinking straw cut to a couple of inches in length. When only a small amount is snorted at a time, your son may use the end of a pen cap or a key.

In short, paraphernalia used to snort cocaine includes:

  • Clear bags or vials
  • Rings, necklaces, pens, and other innocuous items with hidden compartments
  • A flat surface with “chop” lines or white residue, usually a CD case or mirror
  • Something to “chop” the cocaine, like an ID or credit card
  • A hollow tube to snort the drug with, usually a small piece of straw or rolled up dollar bill
  • A small lever to snort a “bump,” often a pen cap or key (white residue often remains)

Smoking Cocaine

If your teen is smoking the drug, he will usually either sprinkle the cocaine over marijuana in a joint or in a bong hit, or he will smoke crack. If he is using the drug with marijuana, you will usually find paraphernalia associated with marijuana use, like:

  • Rolling papers
  • Larger plastic bags with stems or seeds
  • Cigars, cigar wrappers, and tobacco from cigars
  • A bong or marijuana “bowl” pipe

If your teen is smoking crack, you will usually find a short, tubular glass pipe with brown burn marks at one end as well as a lighter.

Injecting Cocaine

If your son injects cocaine, you will find a number of different items used during the cooking and injecting process, including:

  • A cooker. Often a small metal round vessel with a trash tie secured around it to facilitate holding it over a lighter, it is used to “cook” the cocaine or dissolve it in water before injecting.
  • Needles. Usually disposable and plastic, your son may have more than one.
  • Lighter. Disposable lighters are most commonly used for the purposes of cooking cocaine.
  • Tie. Before injecting, most users tie off their upper arm in order to make the veins more prominent – if they inject in their arm.

Address Signs of Cocaine Abuse Immediately

If you believe that your son is abusing cocaine by any means and you are finding paraphernalia to prove it, don’t wait to find him the help he needs to stop getting high today. Contact us at Muir Wood or download the enrollment packet now.