What Is Drug Paraphernalia? How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia

Are you curious about how to identify drug paraphernalia? 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 finding evidence.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to find evidence is to look for any hidden drug paraphernalia. But before we share how to identify drug paraphernalia, you should know precisely what it is.

Drug paraphernalia is any kind of equipment, tool, or other item used to consume, hide, or make illicit drugs. Some of the most common forms of drug paraphernalia include miniature spoons, glass pipes, bongs, and roach clips.

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 typical paraphernalia for each drug. You can use it to aid your search for any materials that might be associated with drug use or addiction.

What is Drug Paraphernalia for Heroin?

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 needed depending on the amount of preparation needed.

The most common ways to use heroin are snorting it, smoking it, or injecting it into a muscle or vein.

Wondering what heroin drug paraphernalia looks like? Below are some of the most common pieces of heroin drug paraphernalia to come across.

Paraphernalia for injecting heroin includes hypodermic needles, cotton balls, bottle caps or spoons, candles or lighters, rubber tubing/shoelaces.

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

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

How to Identify Drug Paraphernalia for Cocaine

While cocaine is most commonly snorted as a powder, it can also be ingested in many different ways, similar 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, hollow pens, 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, cylindrical glass pipes, lighters, needles, or spoons.

Syringes, shoelaces, and tubing can also indicate that someone may be using cocaine.

What Does Meth Paraphernalia Look Like?

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.

Others may use broken lightbulbs to create a vessel to smoke out of. Metal spoons can also be utilized to heat the drug so the vapors can be inhaled.

However, someone who is snorting meth may have other paraphernalia. This meth paraphernalia might include empty ink pens or cut straws. Unlike some drugs, meth doesn’t work well with paper products, such as rolled-up dollar bills, since it sticks to it. Tinfoil is often also used to smoke meth.

The meth paraphernalia present for someone who injects it also varies. However, the most obvious sign is the presence of hypodermic needles, especially in the home or room of someone who has no other use for them.

Marijuana Drug Paraphernalia List

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.

The drug paraphernalia list below indicates other items you may see if someone is using marijuana:

  • Cigar or cigarette papers
  • Glass bowls in all shapes, sizes, and colors
  • “Bubblers,” which are a combination of a bong and pipe
  • Vaporizers used to heat and inhale paper from marijuana
  • Vape pens, also called “dab pens”

Dabbing marijuana is also becoming more common. This involves heating marijuana concentrate on a heating plate until it vaporizes before inhaling it. This creates an incredibly potent drug and can be extremely dangerous.

What is Drug Paraphernalia to Hide Drugs?

Learning how to identify drug paraphernalia should also involve knowledge about items used to hide drugs or the effects of using them. 

For example, drugs may be hidden in fake soda cans, hollowed-out books, special writing instruments, makeup containers with stash areas, and vehicles.

If you are concerned that a loved one is using drugs, there are also items used to hide the physical symptoms. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Wearing long-sleeved clothes when the weather is warm
  • Fragrances like cologne, perfume, or body spray
  • Sunglasses
  • Mouthwash or breath mints
  • Eye drops

Finding meth paraphernalia or paraphernalia associated with another drug often indicates the use of illegal substances. Being aware of what to watch for and what terms are often used can help you decide whether someone is participating in drug use.

Get Help With Drug Addiction

This drug paraphernalia list 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.

Unlike typical rehab treatment centers, Any Length Retreat is here to help you through your trouble from start to end. Our holistic center has been providing help to those struggling with addiction since 2012. Visit our website to learn more or contact us at 512-598-9968 to speak with a member of our admissions team.



A life of freedom is just one phone call away

Healing from substance use disorder isn’t linear, but it does always start with taking the first step. Our team of caring admissions specialists are here for you 24/7. Please, reach out, and let us guide you towards freedom and a new way of life.

Call or text (512) 960-1440 today to begin your journey to wholeness.