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If you thought your teenager was using drugs, would you know what to look for? Most parents would say, “of course!” They might look for random drugs lying around, rolling papers, lighters, burnt spoons – items that are referred to as drug paraphernalia. However, most teenagers are more creative than that when it comes to hiding their drugs. We interviewed Anna, a teenager who attended inpatient treatment at Inspirations for Youth and Families. We asked her about the best hiding places for drugs. Here is what she had to say:

IYF: Hi Anna, thanks for talking with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience prior to coming to Inspirations?

Anna: Sure, well I was into drugs. Like really into drugs. I was drinking alcohol and I was also smoking a lot of weed. Eventually I got into using prescription pills which I stole from my mom’s boyfriend. That led me to use heroin when I couldn’t find the pills.

IYF: How long were you using?

Anna: I started drinking when I was 13 and I started smoking at 14. A year later I started stealing the pills and it was so easy, like no one ever noticed. That was surprising to me. After the pills, I was snorting heroin and then eventually I was shooting it which was when my mom sent me to Inspirations.

IYF: How did your mom find out about your drug use?

Anna: My mom had no idea that I was using. I don’t know if she was like, not paying attention or what but she finally found out when I told her. I don’t know if she ever would have found out if I didn’t tell her.

IYF: Where did you hide your drugs?

Anna: It was pretty easy, like you can buy empty soda cans from smoke shops and use those to hide weed or whatever you want. I liked those cans the most because they were pretty sneaky, like no one ever suspected I was hiding stuff in them. I also used to hide heroin inside of a hollowed-out book which I got from one of my other friends who was using. You can hide drugs in your car; there are a lot of secret compartments inside most cars. I also would put my pills inside of like an Advil or Tylenol bottle which was another really good hiding spot.

IYF: What advice would you give to a parent who suspect their teen is using drugs or drinking alcohol?

Anna: Well, like as for alcohol I would tell parents to sniff any bottles their teenager has. A lot of people hide vodka inside water bottles or mix it with soda in a soda bottle. I would also tell parents to check in all the typical hiding spots, like under the bed or in between the mattress. Check for any hollowed out books or secret compartments in the wall. We’re pretty smart at hiding our drugs, especially if we’re worried about getting caught.