Substance Abuse Courses Teach About Drug Paraphernalia

by: Mike Miller

How many times have you watched the television show “Cops” where officers find drug paraphernalia in the car and the occupants claim it is not theirs? How about 90% of the time. Do you drive a car that may have drug paraphernalia in it? I would bet not.

One common thread between making, using, and concealing illegal substances is the drug paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or concealing drugs and is typically used for recreational purposes. The word itself often has a negative connotation because it is so overused in the criminal law field in expressions like “possession of drug paraphernalia”.

2 Kinds of Drug Paraphernalia

There are two primary types of paraphernalia when it comes to drugs: user specific and deal specific.

Some of the user-specific products include:

  • Glass hashish pipes, crack cocaine pipes

  • Smoking masks

  • Hashish bongs, cocaine freebase kits

  • Syringes, elastic bands, and needles

  • Roach clips (for holding the burning end of a marijuana joint)

These are some of the products that one would find at a store that carries paraphernalia, but there is a whole other group of products that drug users make from ordinary, household items. Examples include: a hollowed-out cosmetic case or fake pager, both of which can be used to hide illegal substances without drawing in any attention.

Dealer-specific paraphernalia can be anything from a plastic vial to hold a substance, guidebooks, fertilizer, or fluorescent lights for growing hydroponic marijuana, scales, zipper storage bags to spoons and foil for manufacturing methamphetamines. These refer to anything used by a seller or trafficker for preparing and distributing drugs.

Have you noticed someone who has one or more of these items laying around their house? If so, it could be a sign of a problem. Paraphernalia usually means use. Please get them to a drug program. If they prefer to maintain anonymity there are internet based substance abuse classes as well.