Common Places Teens Hide Drugs
Adolescence is trying time for young people. It is filled with countless challenges and lessons, immense physical growth, surging hormones, a newfound need for autonomy. Further, neurotypical children shift their alliances from their parents to their friends during their teenage years. This can leave parents in the dark and unaware of the goings-on in their adolescent’s life. Teenagers are notorious for testing limits, pushing boundaries, and assuaging curiosity. It is not uncommon for teenagers to experiment with drugs and alcohol use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) reported findings from a survey that found 58.8% of teenagers had consumed alcohol by their senior year in high school, and 47% had used illicit drugs. Teenagers are resourceful and creative. If they wish to keep drugs hidden from their parents there are myriad ways teenagers can conceal the possession of drugs.
Teenagers often become creative in repurposing items to conceal drugs and/ or alcohol. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has even provided information regarding where parents should look for drugs hidden in their teenager’s room, some of which include the following:
- Alarm clocks
- Cars (e.g., steering wheel, trunk, interior, etc.)
- Candy wrappers
- Mechanical pencils
- Tampon boxes
- Garage door openers
- Lint rollers
- Perfume bottles
- Shaving cream cans
- Gaming consoles
Additional items such as pill bottles, felt-tip markers, lipstick dispensers, and/ or cigarette packages can also serve as adequate containers for substances (depending on the type of drug) that would provide a location for illicit substances to be hidden in plain sight.
While experimenting with drugs and alcohol is normal for a teen, abusing drugs and alcohol can result in many possible short and long-term consequences. The most important tip for parents is to keep an open line of communication with your teenager. Creating an emotionally safe place for your teen to open up about their experiences can provide a parent with a window into their child’s world. Even if the teenager is not entirely forthcoming, establishing and maintaining an open line of communication can provide significant knowledge about your teenager’s life. If there is any concern that your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is best to err on the side of caution and nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
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