The teens of today have become quite savvy in their creativity. There are some very common, but not so easily detectable places for teen drug addicts to hide their stash.
Below is a list of the more common and popular hiding places where kids and teens hide their drugs:
- Their vehicle
- Game controllers (xbox, wii, play station, etc. (anything that has a battery compartment)
- Remotes to televisions (again, anything that has a battery compartment)
- Make-up and other hygiene packaging
- Underneath toilet tanks
- Candy wrappers
- Belt buckles
- Inside socks & sandals
- Behind wall hangings (posters and picture frames)
- Inside toys or books
- Cough medicine bottles
- In objects along teenagers’ daily walking routine (bushes, sewers, backyard)
Additional Hiding Places
It is important to remember that anything “hollowed-out” is a potential hiding place. Other places to look include the unused power strip, empty DVD cases, inside shoes, sneakers, boots and pockets of hung up clothes.
The car is a big one, because they think their parents aren’t going to go through the car. Many kids say they would hide their drugs anywhere, but inside the house. The garage and the attic or basement are also common hiding places.
In the beginning stages, teens are good at hiding things. They will change clothes so that they don’t smell. They will use Visine to reduce their eye redness. As their addiction grows, they give up the fact of caring. That is, caring whether or not they get caught.
Parents need to walk a tightrope between privacy and tough love
This is the time where you, the parent, has to walk a fine line between respecting you teens’ privacy and keeping him or her safe and alive. At the very least, you need to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. To start with, you might consider a no-locked-door policy, it’s a knock-and-announce policy. If you hear a scurry of activities in your teens bedroom, odd sounds or strange smells – it may be time for a more closer investigation. This also means looking and smelling inside their car.
Be more active in helping them “clean” these areas, bedroom/car. If you’ve discussed drug abuse facts in previous discussions with them, they already know you don’t tolerate drug abuse. They should not expect to be able to hide evidence of abuse in your home and go undetected.
One way to search their room is to do a “search and rescue” (searching for evidence of things your child needs rescuing from). It’s not best to announce when you will be cleaning/entering the room, to do so would be to negate the purpose – if your child has something to hide, it is likely to disappear pretty quickly – leaving you with a false sense of security.
The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that should not be ignored, minimized, over-looked. You should never relax even if your son or daughter has promised you that they would never do drugs. If left untreated, use and abuse can develop into drug dependence or alcoholism. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse early.
Drug-proofing your home, physically, and drug-proofing your family are two separate things that go hand in hand. If you think your teen is abusing drugs, but don’t know what to do next, take a breath and then get the professional support you need. There is a lot of available resources.