As unnerving as it may be to admit, teens have proven to be quite resourceful when it comes to hiding drugs, similar to how addicts hide their substances.
Teens employ a wide range of ingenious methods for concealing drugs, from everyday items to secret spaces in vehicles.
The most common, yet overlooked, items can serve as excellent hiding spots.
Highlighters, makeup containers, and pens, items that seem harmless, can be modified to stash drugs.
Spotting a hollowed-out highlighter or a pen repurposed for substance ingestion can be challenging.
Secret compartments can even be incorporated into calculators - a quintessential school supply, making them an ideal hideout.
Illicit drugs can be hidden in a multitude of spots within vehicles. Some common locations where teens hide drugs include:
Under the seats
In glove compartments
Within door panels
In the vehicle’s wheel or tire
These small spaces, although seemingly obvious, often go unnoticed due to their everyday use.
Concealing drugs in plain sight is arguably the most cunning method to conceal drugs. By disguising drugs as everyday items like:
cough medicine bottles
Teens can evade detection. Even school supplies are not immune.
Vapes and vape pens that closely resemble highlighters or pens can be used for incorporating drugs, thus creating novel hiding spots.
Apart from everyday items and vehicles, there are unique products specifically designed for drug concealment. Stash cans, clothing with secret pockets, and discreet drug paraphernalia are among these products.
The sole purpose of stash cans and containers is drug concealment. These containers, often disguised as soda cans, shaving cream, or canned foods, have false bottoms to stash drugs.
Teens can easily access these stash cans as they are readily available from major retailers or online distributors.
Teens can also hide drugs in clothing and accessories with secret pockets. Some examples include:
Stash clothing with hidden pockets in the sleeves
Underwear with secret compartments
Accessories like belt buckles that have been modified to incorporate covert compartments for drug concealment
The options are seemingly endless.
Drug concealment is taken a step further with discreet drug paraphernalia. Some examples include:
Straws, hollow pens, rolled-up paper, or bills for snorting cocaine
Small mirrors, credit cards, or razor blades for cutting cocaine
Lipstick weed pipes
Discreet e-cigarettes, which closely resemble ordinary items
These items are designed to closely resemble everyday objects, making them harder to detect.
Regrettably, the home, intended as a haven of safety and comfort, can also serve as a drug hideaway. From room decor to outdoor hideouts, the possibilities for concealment within one’s living space are vast.
Drugs can be stashed in numerous locations within room decor and furniture.
Behind posters or picture frames, and even within items like sugar cubes or breath mints disguised as decor, drugs can be hidden.
Furniture with secret drawers or false bottoms provides additional hiding spaces.
Despite often being overlooked, the bathroom serves as another potential hideout. Drugs can be hidden:
inside the toilet’s works
underneath the back of the bowl
inside air vents
within fake soda cans
inside CD or DVD cases
Abandoned lots or buildings, sheds, treehouses, and other storage spaces can also function as outdoor drug stash spots.
Even garden sheds can be converted into hiding places, providing a secluded location for drugs.
A critical step in prevention and intervention is the recognition and addressing of drug use among teens.
From identifying signs of drug use to understanding the importance of communication and support to seeking professional help, there are several ways to address this issue.
Close observation is the starting point for identifying signs of drug use among teens. Some potential indications of substance abuse include:
Abrupt shifts in social circles
Heightened defiance or disrespect
Withdrawal from family engagements
A decline in academic performance
A sudden increase in the use of mouthwash, breath sprays, or mints
These signs should be taken seriously and further investigation may be necessary.
When dealing with teen drug abuse, open communication and support are of paramount importance. Here are some ways parents can offer assistance:
Maintain awareness of their teenager’s frequent whereabouts
Understand their commute to school
Familiarize themselves with the peers they associate with
Professional help should be sought if drug use is suspected or confirmed, especially in cases involving drug addicts. Call us today, our Admission Team is ready to hear you out and provide the best service possible.
We offer treatment for teenage boys and girls across the USA.
Other services such as the National Helpline can provide support for individuals and families dealing with substance use disorders. Professional assistance can also include:
Treatment referral services
Teen addiction rehab programs
Therapy for drug and alcohol addiction
Therapy for addiction
What's hidden in plain sight for parents is an opportunity to understand and spot signs of possible substance use and risky behavior in teenagers, through programs like In Plain Sight. This can help parents, teachers, and caregivers to support and guide young people effectively.
It's important to be aware that household items like highlighters, makeup containers, and pens can be modified to hide drugs. Be vigilant and keep an eye out for any unusual alterations in these items.
Drugs are commonly hidden in vehicles under the seats, in glove compartments, or within door panels, according to experts.
Some examples of unique products for drug concealment include stash cans, clothing with secret pockets, and discreet drug paraphernalia. Be cautious of these items.
Parents need to recognize signs of drug use in their teens, such as abrupt shifts in social circles, heightened defiance or disrespect, withdrawal from family engagements, and a decline in academic performance. These signs can indicate a potential issue that needs to be addressed.
Ryan is a North Texas native who grew up in Tarrant and Denton counties. Ryan is a Texas A&M bachelor’s graduate and a masters graduate from University of Texas at Arlington. Ryan has been in the mental health field for 10 years serving adults, children, and adolescents in inpatient, crisis, and residential levels of care.
Ryan is passionate about client access and connecting them to care. This is shown in his previous endeavors that doubled the capacity of child and adolescent facility capacity and the opening of two adult/geriatric hospitals. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys reading, family, my dog Emma, CrossFit, and being outside.