If you suspect your teen is using drugs, they may be concealing them in these five secret hiding places.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, teen drug use in the United States includes marijuana, inhalants and cocaine. The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens reports that almost 24% of high schoolers say they use marijuana. The use of vaping and inhalants has increased significantly. In 2016, 3% of adolescents surveyed admitted to needing but not getting treatment for substance abuse. 

Teenagers who are addicted often use drugs in their family homes. This phenomenon is so common that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has included information about where parents should look for drugs hidden in their teen’s room or home. 

Drugs can be hidden in places such as:

  • Alarm clocks
  • Shoes
  • Candy wrappers
  • Cars (interior, steering wheel and trunk)
  • Game consoles

Using stash spots for drugs and finding places to hide drugs at home means that minors can regularly misuse illegal drugs without their parents knowing. Parents need to become more aware of where to look for drugs and ways to support their teen who may be struggling with addiction issues. Below are some additional common places that teens may be hiding drugs.

Personal Hygiene Products or Makeup Containers

The bottles, tubes and compacts that contain makeup or hygiene products can also be used as a hiding place for powdered drugs. Hiding drugs in deodorant tubes could be a way to hide a significant amount of drugs in plain sight. Today, there is a broad range of drug use apparatuses available that are designed to deceive. For example, a lipstick weed pipe looks like a tube of lipstick but can be used to smoke marijuana.

Teens and cocaine is a persistent problem in the United States. Cocaine elicits a high and is a powdered drug that can easily be hidden. Secret hiding containers to look for cocaine may be a simple compact mirror, which can be used as both a receptacle to hide the drug and a tool to use it.

School Supplies

Marijuana use in teens continues to be the highest incidence of drug use, and school supply containers are one of the most common places to hide weed. Since several news stories about teens hiding drugs in calculators were published, parents and teachers are becoming more aware of the way that school supplies and everyday objects can disguise drugs or drug paraphernalia.

Some common school and household supplies that may be used to hide or ingest drugs include:

  • Highlighter weed pipe
  • Garage door openers
  • Tampon boxes
  • Books
  • Flashlights
  • Lip balm containers
  • Mechanical pencils

Stash Cans

False bottom containers, or stash cans, are another place that teens hide drugs. Finding and purchasing a stash can that can hide a secret stash of drugs is literally as simple as googling “stash cans for drugs.” Large retailers and easy access to online distributors mean teens have a wide variety of stash cans to choose from. 

Drugs can be hidden in a Pepsi stash can as well as other stash cans, including:

  • Cans of fruit or vegetables
  • Perfume bottles
  • Water or soda bottles
  • Hairbrushes
  • Lint rollers
  • Shaving cream cans
  • Hairspray cans

Room Decor

Many teens hide drugs in room decor. Some drugs are easier to hide in room decor than others. For example, storing LSD may be as simple as stashing it behind a poster or picture frame. Other methods for storing acid may include wrapping it in a way that looks like sugar cubes or breath mints. However, many different kinds of drugs can be hidden in room decor. The news story of a teen who hid weed in a teddy bear highlights the need for parents to investigate ordinary objects in a teen’s living space if they suspect they’re hiding drugs. 

Private Bathroom

Kids or teens who have private bathrooms may store drugs in air vents or even under toilet lids. As mentioned above, hygiene products often located in private bathrooms can also serve as a common place to hide drugs. 

What Should I Do if I Find My Child’s Drugs?

Teen drug abuse is a devastatingly common phenomenon that impacts households across the United States. Teens who use drugs may come from good families and be able to function well for an extended period before symptoms of substance abuse emerge. If you suspect your teen is doing drugs, you need to pursue outside assistance

Seeing signs of drug use in teens should prompt parents to seek help. Adolescents are vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction and may need teen rehab. Some of the symptoms of teen drug abuse to look for include:

  • Aggressive or unusual behavior
  • Changes in hygiene, smell or appearance
  • School or work problems
  • Requests for money or taking money without permission
  • New friend groups
  • Increased secrecy and privacy

If you think that your teen needs help, reach out to a representative at The Recovery Village today. We offer specialized care for teen drug addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more

Drug Enforcement Agency. “Get Smart About Drugs: Hiding Places.” May 18, 2017. Accessed July 13, 2019.

Department of Health and Human Services. “United States Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts.” 2017. Accessed July 13, 2019.

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. “Teens’ Drug Use is Lower Than Ever (Mostly).” January 8, 2018. Accessed July 13, 20

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.