You want to trust your teen. You’re trying to find the balance between holding them accountable and having faith in their decision-making.
When they’ve broken your trust already, however, this balancing act becomes even more challenging.
Invading Their Privacy vs Protecting Your Teen
If your teen’s struggling with substance abuse, you may have to take steps that make you feel like you’re crossing the line. You might even have to search their belongings for a secret stash of drugs. It might feel awkward or cause a few arguments, but remember, you're doing it for their own protection.
If this scenario occurs and you find yourself searching for drugs or paraphernalia, it'll help to know some of the places they might hide them. A few hiding places are obvious. Others...you might not consider.
Following are common ways your teen might conceal drugs.
You hope she's carrying these items around for academic purposes, but school supplies are often used to transport illegal substances.
- Graphing Calculator: The battery compartment of these calculators is large enough to conceal a small baggie of drugs.
- Highlighter: It might not seem possible, but the cap of a highlighter is just big enough to hold a small stash of drugs.
Your teen knows you can go in her room at any time, so she might get creative with her hiding places. These five locations are likely choices:
- Alarm Clock: A battery-powered alarm clock offers enough space in the battery compartment to hide a small bag of powder or pills.
- Posters: To conceal a small bag of drugs, teens may flatten it and tape it behind a poster on their wall.
- Heating Vents These are easy to lift away from the floor or walls to place a bag of drugs inside the duct-work.
- Stuffed Animals: These innocent-looking toys can conceal small amounts of drugs within their seams.
- Video Game Units: The consoles for X-Box, Wii, and Playstation all have small spaces where your teen could stash drugs.
In Personal Items
Sometimes, it’s easiest to hide things in plain sight. Your teen may have drugs on her person or laying in the console of her vehicle, but you don’t realize it. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Candy Wrappers: This is an easy place to conceal drugs, since many pills and synthetics closely resemble candy in appearance.
- Shoes: It’s not uncommon for teens to push a small bag of drugs into the toe of their shoes for safe keeping.
- Car: Does your teen have a vehicle? If so, it's a prime spot to hide substances. Besides the obvious trunk and glove compartment storage spots, teens may also tape drugs underneath the seat or behind the steering wheel.
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