What Happens if I Report a Drug Dealer?

Addressing the Hesitation Behind Taking Action

When it comes to ourselves, our families, and our communities, it is normal to want to do anything within our power to protect the people and places we love. Thus, it is not uncommon to want to take action against anything that might be perceived as a threat to that which is dear to us, and the desire to report a drug dealer can well be part of this feeling.

However, what happens when we find ourselves faced with the fear that addressing a threat may only put ourselves or others in further danger? In the face of possible drug activity occurring within our neighborhoods, there are numerous reasons to be concerned about the potential consequences of reporting this behavior.

For many families, the concern that their children may be exposed to illicit substances is reason enough to report this behavior. However, particularly when it comes to drug trafficking, many people feel that choosing to share sensitive information about this activity can have its own consequences.

Keep reading to learn more about what happens if I report a drug dealer, and how to approach the situation safely.

Is it Dangerous to Report a Drug Dealer?

Is it Dangerous to Report a Drug Dealer

When it comes to individuals who sell illicit drugs, it is not uncommon for them to also be involved in other criminal activity. While these may not pose an immediate threat to the people around them, they may certainly be a cause for concern.

Because of this, it may be intimidating for individuals to want to contact their local police department when they suspect drug activity is occurring in their neighborhood. The fear of possible retaliation from the person they have reported can be more than enough to make an individual stay silent.

Furthermore, it can be hard to know how to tell if someone is actually dealing drugs. In the event that an individual misperceives a situation, filing a false report with the police may warrant a possible violation of the reporter’s personal record.

To see what substances and activities constitute illegal activity, it may be helpful to look up your state’s controlled substance laws. These should be available on any state official government organization website.

Keep in mind that our hotline is not for reporting drug dealers and that confidential tiplines set up by law enforcement are available in most municipalities.

How To Know When You Are Dealing with Drug Dealers

There are several signs that may indicate a neighbor or other nearby individual is dealing drugs, of which may include:

  • Frequent visitors, who may be unfriendly or standoffish, and who come and go relatively quickly (especially if seen leaving with questionable items).
  • Occupants are distant, secretive, or elusive.
  • Visible items associated with drug manufacturing (i.e. lithium, ammonia, drain cleaner, etc.).
  • Blacked out windows, and/or outdoor storage equipment kept tightly secured (i.e., doors kept closed with a locked padlock or other security device).
  • Strange or chemical-like odors.
  • Occupants and visitors are often seen exchanging items (usually cash and small packages).
  • Presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia (i.e., ‘dime bags’ or glassine envelopes, used needles, discarded medication bottles, etc.).
  • Loitering individuals – may appear to be on the “lookout,” usually for any law enforcement authority figures that may be in the area.

If you have noticed one of your neighbors or another individual has been engaging in several of these behaviors, this may warrant bringing the situation to the attention of your local police department.

How To Report Drug Dealing


So now that you know how to identify drug trafficking activity, what should you do once you have this information? There are several ways in which an individual can report potential drug dealing activity.

For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers serves as a national program designed to allow individuals to submit tips about an illegal activity without providing their personal information. This can be done either via phone or by filling out an online form.

Furthermore, Crime Stoppers workers are trained to protect the identities of the individuals who contact them should they choose to provide this information.

When it comes to the type of information needed to open up an investigation into drug dealing, individuals may be asked to provide as much as they can of the following:

  • Address of where suspected drug activity is taking place
  • Full name(s) of the suspected individual(s)
  • Descriptive information about the suspected individual(s)
  • The number of visitors the occupant has, as well as the duration and frequency of these visits
  • Details about any packages or items being exchanged between the individual(s) and their visitor(s)

Individuals can also report this activity through the United States Government’s official websites. These are secure websites and may include those belonging to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Department of Justice (DOJ) (these will always be .gov websites).

Can I be Rewarded for Reporting a Drug Dealer?

As a means of encouraging people to continue to report cases of possible drug dealing, if an investigation yields results, individuals can receive a cash reward for their information.

Individuals will be provided a numerical code or payment code, which they can use to redeem money at a local bank. This process is anonymous and should never require a form of identification in order to receive this reward.

Other Resources for Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

While it is generally a good idea to report concerns of possible drug dealing occurring in your community, there are cases in which reporting drug activity to the police is not necessarily helpful.

For example, if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, the best choice you can make is to seek out professional addiction treatment services. Addiction can be a stressful and debilitating condition, not just for the addicted individual, but for the people around them as well.

While reporting the people dealing drugs to your loved one forms an option, it won’t necessarily deprive them of substances and may push them further away from needed treatment.

That is why here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we are dedicated to helping you find addiction treatment resources and recovery options.

If you require substance abuse treatment, give our helpline a call now, but in order to report a drug dealer, research CrimeStoppers and make sure your confidentiality is kept throughout the process!

Starting the recovery process can be scary. But with our hotline available 24/7, one of our representatives is always available to help you make the best choice for you and your loved ones. So, call today, and let us help you get started on the path to sobriety, where you can become a happier, healthier you!

What Happens If I Report A Drug Dealer? (FAQ)

How often does reporting suspected drug activity lead to action?

In every state, people can report suspected drug activity to the authorities. However, the response is sometimes slower and less effective than some people would like. The truth is that there aren’t enough resources to follow up on every single report or tip-off.

Is it objectively dangerous to report suspected drug activity?

The short answer is that it depends on the situation, your circumstances, your surroundings, and how you report it. First and foremost, don’t call 911 if you think someone is selling drugs out of their home. Call the police instead. 911 lines are reserved for emergencies, and there’s no need for an emergency response unless someone’s life is at stake.

What is the best safety precaution you can take when reporting suspected drug activity?

Do not confront the person. Even if they are within earshot, it is essential that you do not engage or make any contact. It would be best if you did not make eye contact with them while they are conducting their business. This could result in a confrontation that would compromise your safety and ability to report what you saw accurately.

Why should you be as sure as possible before reporting suspected drug activity?

The truth is that the world is still primarily one where minorities and other such groups are disproportionately discriminated against by the justice and law enforcement systems.

Reporting “suspected” drug activity without being sure can often result in innocent persons being harassed or persecuted unduly. Run your suspicions past a trusted third party, such as a loved one, clergy member, or off-duty law enforcement officer, to make sure you are making an accurate report of drug activity.

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