There has been an alarming amount of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription opioids, such as pain medications, deaths in recent years. Opioid drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions across the United States.
The rise in heroin-related deaths has caused alarm in many communities, and lawmakers are trying to make laws that can save lives. Unfortunately, nothing has helped. The deaths toll continues to rise. If you believe a loved one may be doing illicit drugs, it can be very frightening. There are signs and tools, known as drug paraphernalia that are commonly used when taking drugs.
Common Drug Paraphernalia
- Burnt spoons or bottle caps are used to ‘cook’ the drugs. They add a little water and the drug to liquefy the drug so it can be put in a syringe.
- Razor blades and a mirror are used to snort cocaine or meth. They ‘cut’ the drug up into lines and snort it using a straw or rolled up bills.
- Used, dried-up cotton balls for filtering out chunks of a drug that was cooked and will be injected.
- Cut-up straws rolled dollar bills, or hollowed pens are used to snort lines of cocaine or meth and also to inhale smoke from heated up crystals.
- Burnt foil squares that are used to heat up chopped up crystals of meth, heroin, and crack until it starts to smoke, then inhale the smoke to get high.
- Candles, lighters, or used matches may be a sign of drug use if they do not smoke cigarettes.
- Rubber tubing or lacing, really anything can be used to tie off an arm, so the vein grows and is easily found.
What to Do if You Find Drug Paraphernalia
If you believe your loved one is doing dangerous drugs there are specific steps you should take.
- Start monitoring their behavior. Do they have wild mood swings?
- Do they come back from the bedroom or bathroom acting differently?
- Do they forget things that they just said or did?
- Do they ‘nod off’ while standing and talking to you?
- Have you found any of the drug paraphernalia that has been mentioned?
If you answered yes to the majority of these questions and you suspect your loved one of doing illicit drugs take action. First, talk to them and find out if they want help. Second, get them to see a doctor and therapist. Third, if they have become addicts, it will probably be necessary to get them to a rehabilitation center.
If your loved one is an addict remember that they are not themselves. You will need to make sure that you change the way you ‘help’ them. Do not give them money. Try not to make things easier on them. One of the things people do without meaning to is enabling them to live the addict lifestyle. Loved ones tend to want to take care of the addict and make sure they feel needed and loved. However, most of the time, a hard love stance is what is required.