What Does Cocaine Paraphernalia Look Like?
Cocaine paraphernalia can include paper tubes, small glass pipes, or syringes.
If you’ve seen strange equipment around someone’s home and you’re worried it may be a sign of cocaine abuse, this is what you need to know.
What is Cocaine Paraphernalia?
Cocaine typically comes in two forms: Powder or rocks. Powder cocaine can be rubbed on the gums, snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.
The rock or crystal form, often called crack cocaine, is cooked in a pipe so the vapors can be inhaled.
Each form may accompany different paraphernalia.
Someone who is snorting cocaine may have razor blades or credit cards lying around, which are used to chop the cocaine and set it up in lines. They may put the cocaine on top of small mirrors because it doesn’t scratch easily and the smoothness makes it easier to snort all of the cocaine.
Straws or rolled-up dollar bills may then be used to snort the lines. Alternatively, you might find small cocaine spoons (or snuff spoons), which make it easier to scoop the cocaine out of vials and bring the powder to the nose.
Someone dissolving cocaine and injecting it might have syringes lying around. Meanwhile, someone who is using crack cocaine may have bongs, water pipes, or similar paraphernalia.
This often involves lighters, as well, which is used to heat up the crack cocaine so that it will vaporize.
Other paraphernalia that might indicate drug abuse include the following:
- Small plastic bags that are often used to transport the substance
- Bulky rings or jewelry with large lockets that can be a means of concealing drugs
- Mouthwash, eye drops, and sprays that might help hide evidence of cocaine abuse
Where Do People Find Cocaine Paraphernalia?
Many items that can be used for cocaine can also be associated with marijuana use, such as glass pipes. Young adults who aren’t old enough to shop at a marijuana dispensary may acquire the paraphernalia online or through a local dealer.
Some items are also commonly found around the home, like lighters.
Finding and destroying drug paraphernalia is helpful, but ineffective in ending a friend or loved one’s substance abuse. Cocaine addiction is a serious condition that takes time and support to recover from and a person who is using cocaine will simply find other ways to consume the drug.
For instance, a person who snorts cocaine can easily function a makeshift straw out of dollar bills.
Instead of confiscating paraphernalia if you suspect drug addiction, it’s important to get the fast facts on what substance use disorder actually looks like and how it can be treated.
Signs of Cocaine Use and Addiction
Beyond the presence of drug paraphernalia, you might be able to identify the use of illegal drugs by keeping your eyes out for certain side effects that often accompany addiction.
- Change in mood and behavior, including a tendency to withdraw. A person may become more private or distant.
- Hobbies and relationships may no longer seem like a top priority to the person and they may begin seeking out new friendships with other drug users.
- You may notice changes in their mental health, like a tendency to be more anxious or paranoid, which is often a symptom of cocaine withdrawal.
If you’re worried that someone you love is possibly using a controlled substance, it’s important to approach them and make sure they know about their treatment options. However, you should do so with care.
A person who is heavily using cocaine may seem completely different than they used to, which may mean they are more easily agitated or even violent. A rehab center can give you advice on how to intervene safely.
How to Help a Loved One With Cocaine Addiction
Possession of drug paraphernalia is actually a misdemeanor, and it can be classified as a felony, depending on other circumstances (like if drugs were also found along with it and in what quantity).
If you’re trying to help someone who may be using drugs, the first thing you should do is reach out to a treatment center like Zinnia Health to speak with an addiction specialist.
Once you’re in touch with a professional, you’ll likely be asked to describe the pattern of substance use behavior, and they can help you identify whether or not the person is likely suffering from addiction (and to what degree).
From that point, they can explain the treatment options available to the individual and help you decide if and when you should intervene to help them get on the path to recovery.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that there are many parameters to ensure effective treatment, but it starts with evidence-based techniques.
A treatment plan should be customized to the individual’s needs and include behavioral counseling, skills training, mental health support, and follow-up care. Connecting with a reputable treatment facility will help you ensure the success of your loved one’s recovery.
How Zinnia Health Can Help With Cocaine Addiction
If you have begun to see signs of cocaine use or another substance, it’s okay to be frightened. Substance use disorder is a scary thing and drug addiction can transform a person right before your eyes.
The good news is, you still have time to get help. Educate yourself on the topic of drug abuse and recovery and you’ll be in a strong position to intervene and introduce your loved one to the option of treatment before it’s too late.
At Zinnia Health, we help individuals from all walks of life overcome cocaine addiction by developing personalized treatment programs that support each individual’s long-term goals.
We use a combination of proven and emerging techniques, like music therapy, to engage individuals in treatment and help them stay motivated to get clean and remain drug-free for life. You can help them take the first step.