Common Drugs & Their Paraphernalia

Common Drugs

If you’re concerned that your loved one might be taking drugs, one of the first things you’ll want to do before staging an intervention is find evidence. One of the easiest ways to find evidence is to look for any hidden drug paraphernalia.

However, if you’ve never had a friend or family member who uses drugs, you may not be sure what you’re looking for. Below is a list of some common drugs along with some common paraphernalia for each drug.


Heroin can be taken in many different ways: by injecting, snorting, or smoking. Different paraphernalia is required for each method of consumption, and more paraphernalia is required depending on the amount of preparation needed. Below are some of the most common pieces of heroin paraphernalia.

Paraphernalia for injecting heroin includes needles, cotton balls, spoons, lighters, rubber tubing/shoelaces.

Paraphernalia for smoking heroin includes aluminum foil, rolling paper/pipes, lighters, straws.

Paraphernalia for snorting heroin includes straws, rolled bills or paper.


While cocaine is most commonly snorted as a powder, it can also be ingested in many different ways, similarly to heroin. Cocaine can be dissolved in water and injected, while crack cocaine is commonly smoked. Some of the most common items of cocaine paraphernalia include:

Straws, rolled bills, or small pieces of paper are commonly used for snorting cocaine, along with razor blades or credit card for “cutting” lines of the drug. Mirrors are commonly used as the cutting board, so be on the lookout for visible, straight scratches.

If your loved one is injecting or smoking cocaine, you might want to be on the lookout for items like aluminum foil, glass cylindrical pipes, lighters, needles, or spoons.


Meth is another drug that can be smoked, swallowed, injected, or snorted, depending on its form. Swallowing it as a pill is the safest and least addictive way to use meth (though it’s never really safe), while smoking it tends to be most common – though this may vary depending on where you live.

Someone smoking methamphetamines may use a long cylindrical glass pipe, lighters, and steel wool.


Marijuana is most often smoked, though many people create “edibles”, and bake some of the drug into brownies or cookies. If your loved one smokes marijuana, be on the lookout for items like rolling papers, bongs, colorful glass pipes, grinders, small plastic bags, or tweezers.

This list of drug paraphernalia is a starter guide only, but it will give you an idea of which items to be on the lookout for. If you confirm your loved one is doing drugs, check out this article on what you should do to get them into treatment.

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