Justice

D.E.A. Warns Parents About These Drug Not So Obvious 'Hiding Places'

If your kid is using a graphing calculator, that could mean they're doing their homework. Or it could be a sign of a drug problem, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

calculator

The federal agency recently compiled a list of "common place your teen could be hiding drugs" for snooping parents. Here's what they came up with:

Alarm clocks

alarm clock

Graphing calculators

calculator

Highlighters

highlighter

Shoes

shoes

Candy wrappers

candy

Posters

poster

Heating vents

vent

Stuffed animals

teddy bear

Cars

car

Game consoles

game

OK... Yes, several of these "hiding places" seem comically impractical.

But the question remains: what's the purpose of this guide, beyond promoting household raids?

After all, researchers have found that teens are less likely to share information with their parents if they think the parents have secretly gone through their possessions. Another study found that snooping actually reinforces surreptitious behavior in teens, leading them to hide more from their parents.

This parent guide is a reflection of a DEA mentality "that drugs are everywhere and everyone is a potential criminal," The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham wrote.

DEA

What's missing from the guide is an acknowledgment that teen drug use is at a record-low in the U.S., according to a 2016 survey conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Though experts haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for the gradual decline, one theory is that information about the relative dangers of different drugs is more widely accessible.

In other words, honesty and transparency — rather than snooping and distrust — appear to be more effective at deterring teen drug use.

[H/T The Washington Post]