The New Trap House
A “trap house” is defined by the Urban Dictionary as a private house or an apartment, sometimes situated in various public housing communities, where numerous “trap lords” or “trap stars” sell and deal drugs. For drug dealers, it’s basically their official place of business. These trap houses can be found anywhere in order to blend in to the environment they are selling to and attract a wide variety of customers. The disturbing fact is that teenagers are often attracted to these kinds of houses. As a matter of fact, teens often tweet or post invitations for their friends to come to their “trap house.”
In a study published by Reuters and by the University of California, Berkeley, it was revealed that to these youngsters, trap houses are cool. This mindset can be well-explained by the glamorization of trap houses by trap music, a music genre characterized by a unique rap style that originated in the South in the early 1990s. Since trap music has gone mainstream, the glorification of trap houses has continued to increase. For instance, 2 Chainz, a popular rapper launched his very own clothing store called “Trapavelli Pop Up Shop” which looked like a trap house, perfectly decorated with (fake) crack and some cooking equipment.
How Does a Trap House Look Like on the Outside?
According to Serena Espinoza, the Vice -President of REAL About, an Alaska-based movement to put an end to the opioid epidemic in Alaska, while she was still fighting her opioid addiction, she had been to many trap houses.
According to her, most of these houses were already abandoned but there were also beautiful and grand houses which you would never think were trap houses. Often these trap houses would be two-story places with a pool and a pretty lawn in order to keep the house camouflaged. However, the moment you enter, you would be greeted with syringe needles and people who are altogether getting high.
For bigger crowds and bigger transactions, there are also congregation spots for users and dealers. This spot is commonly called a compound. Here, you have a house, shack, trailer, an RV, and many more. According to Espinoza, it’s like a hippie village where drug addicts enjoy getting high together.
The even more alarming fact is that trap houses are increasing in number, migrating from urban areas, they are now conquering the middle and upper-class neighborhoods.
Shutting Down Trap Houses
In a news article released by NBC4, an Ohio-based news agency, various state drug enforcement agencies find shutting down these houses quite challenging. The law enforcers need to have more manpower and require more effort to conduct surveillance. After all, before they can arrest these people and shut down the property, they have to have probable cause for doing so. This means they have to closely monitor the activities of the people in the house, see who comes and goes, complete some research, and make some calls. All in all, shutting down a trap house will require a considerable amount of time, effort, and resources to carry out before they can secure a search warrant.
Should a search warrant be issued, another problem that they might experience is the presence of evidence that will be gathered. More often than not, they only retrieve an insignificant quantity of narcotics, since drug users don’t normally have drugs in large quantities.
The other problem with shutting down trap houses is that it never works. Once you take the house down, these people will just leave and find another house to crash.
How can Parents Keep their Kids Safe?
Considering the gravity of the issue and danger posed by these trap houses, the best thing that parents can do is to make sure that their kids are kept away from these houses. They must exercise diligence in checking their teens’ whereabouts, knowing who they hang out with, and what they are up to. Furthermore, parents should have conversations with their kids about places like these and the potential damage that they could possibly cause.
Keeping your communication line open is a very good strategy for parents to know more about the activities of their kids. Through this, the parents won’t appear too controlling and demanding, thus, lessening the tendency of their kids to rebel. Also, if your kids are already going to trap houses, evasive action should be taken and perhaps steering your kids toward a rehab center would be the best option.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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