The Simplest of Tools

A few days ago a response I read in regards to one of my blog posts reminded me that there are many who do not understand what addiction looks like, how simple things in our homes can literally be turned into “tools of mass destruction”.   And it’s also ironic that this is this very message I bring to schools to parents who are unaware.

The response stated in part that we (parents of addicts) need to clean up our homes and make them a safe place for our addicts.  So I think it’s appropriate to give a list of some of these simple tools that are used by our addicts.  If we are unaware of what addicts who snort or shoot up use we can now understand just how difficult it is to recognize that our loved ones are using in our homes.

Some of those tools are:

Bic Pens

Coffee Stirrers


Cotton balls


Aluminum Foil


Ace bandages

Soda cans

Bottle caps

All of these items are found in EVERY HOME.  I would venture to guess that nearly every home across America can open their linen closet or kitchen cabinet or closet and find all of these items.  Removing all of these items from our homes to make them “safe” just isn’t reality.

Quite frankly I need my spoons.

Understanding addiction and what is happening in the family home is defiantly an undertaking for the outsider looking in.  We the parents and loved ones of addicts ask that before you pass judgment you take the time to understand just what we have endured, and how Blindsided we have been by our loved ones addiction.  None of us have been given an education in drug abuse, its tools or its effects on the body and mind.

It’s one of the reason I have committed to speaking at schools so parents can be aware.  To understand if their spoons start to go missing (and Johnny is no  longer of the age to be using them in the sand box) and your bag of cotton balls is depleted in record time (and Susie isn’t constantly changing her nail polish) and your finding the contents of pens all over the house, but the clear casement is no where to be found or your finding coffee stirrers in your son or daughters room and not only do you not buy them but said child hates coffee and your child is always asking for a new belt or those ace bandages you’ve kept under the sink in the bathroom are gone… when you can start adding these things together it’s time to consider you just may have an addict in the house.

Simple tools… every household has them.  Ridding our house of them isn’t the answer.

8 comments on “The Simplest of Tools

  1. Wonderful advice as usual…what most parents and loved ones of addict’s somewhat new to this don’t understand, is that by the time we realized there was a problem, it was already too big for us to handle alone. You are just trying to save others the same hardships you have endured that sadly went unnoticed…as in my case. We pass the knowledge we have gained to arm parents out there that addiction is real…and sneaky…and very cunning. Thank-you for doing your best to reach the masses…

  2. Renee Stone says:

    Thank you sooo much for putting this in print!! I have been disappointed with the local news. Every time I see a “special” on the dangers of heroin, they mention the same thing every t ime.. they come in capsule form, they are very easy and cheap, needles, spoons, etc. But, they NEVER mention the things that the parents need to look for that “we” would think of as normal stuff..everyday “things” that can and are used.. My main ones that I tell people were Q-tips, Dixie cups (or any small cup/container..sippy cups go virtually unnoticed–when they have small brothers and sisters!), and I always tell people, “COUNT YOUR FREAKIN’ SPOONS!”.. Anyway, Thank you! Thank you for doing what needed to be done , I know I should have, just never did.. I did the wrong thing, and just sat back and complained that “they” weren’t telling the things that were in my head.. Thank you. I will share this, hopefully everyone who sees it will share as well. God Bless. ❤

    • susanjsilva says:


      Its a message we NEED to get out. It took my finding a syringe under my sons mattress to FINALLY put it all together. Parents NEED this education.

  3. I’m SO GLAD there are people like you speaking at schools. Parents need to be aware!!!! I hope the person who wrote that comment comes back to see this. You missed one of the biggies:

    Aluminum foil

    I had to explain to someone’s grandmother why she was finding pieced of foil with black marks on it around the house.

    (I hear ya about the spoons – we actually has to buy new ones because so many disappeared and never came back, same with ball point pens.)

    P.S. I just figured out why I have such a hard time posting comments here, it makes me sign in to wordpress but I don’t use it and forgot my account info!

    • susanjsilva says:

      Thank you Barbara for the “Aluminum Foil” I’ll be sure to add that to my presentation.

      I wish I new an easier way for you to be able to post here. If anyone here knows.. please let us know.

  4. dave and deb says:

    OMG i wish to god that when my spoons started disappearing or i found spoons that were black or water bottles with no caps or pens with the cover missing i had someone to tell me what it was. How dare someone tell me that i have to change my house for an addict. oh sorry i did change some things like sending what jewelry i had left to other peoples houses that i trusted hiding my checks and atm. i applaud you for talking to kids at school would love to be able to do that.

  5. This blog rocks. Months after our son Brett died, we were cleaning out the garage and found a belt turned into an tourniquet. I hate drugs and our families are being taken over by evil in the form of them. We need to pray for our families.

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