Young people are buying deadly drugs from strangers on social media – and they don’t even have to name the drug they’re looking for.
According to Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)Tech savvy teens simply convey a set of emojis that symbolize what they are looking for so that their dealer can avoid any kind of digital identity.
Secret codes also help teens hide their habits from their parents, who may have no idea what emojis actually represent.
Now, the DEA has released a chart entitled “Emoji Drug Code: Decoded” to raise awareness about the secret set of symbols among the growing number of teen deaths.
The federal agency wrote, “The purpose of this reference guide is to give parents, carers, educators and other influential people a better understanding of how emojis are being used with illicit drugs.”
According to the chart, Percocet and oxycodone can only be ordered by sending a pill, a blue dot and a banana emoji.
Heroin, on the other hand, can soon reach the doorsteps of teenagers if they text brown heart emoji and dragon emoji.
The DEA claims that there are emojis that symbolize the application of “high potency” drugs. If you see a bomb, fireworks or rocket plane emoji in your teen’s text chain, you may want to be alert.
Heartbroken parents Steve and Deb Schmidt want to know more about the dangers of digital drug orders before the death of their 18-year-old daughter Beka in 2020.
According to the parents, the teenager used a digital shorthand to order deadly drugs from SnapChat.
“We didn’t realize how easy it was for him to get drugs to our doorstep,” said Stowe. NBC News.
Sadly, Schmal’s story is strikingly similar to that of many others across the country.
According to Journal of the American Medical AssociationThe high mortality rate for adolescents nearly doubled from 492 in 2019 to 954 in 2020. In 2021, they increased by another 20%.
And it’s not just emojis that young people are using to avoid detection, vague colloquial terms are added to the mix.
Eric Feinberg, who works with nonprofits. Alliance for a secure webIs said to be a completely secret language used by teenagers and their dealers.
Feinberg told NBC News that the word “plug” means “hook me up” “with drugs,” and misspelled words such as “pilz” (pills), “xanaz” (Xanax), “cush”. “(marijuana) facilitates open discussion. without mobilizing social media concerns.
Spokespersons for both SnapChat and Instagram told NBC News that they “ban the sale of illicit drugs” on their platforms. Both companies further claim that they use state-of-the-art technology to track down any accounts linked to drug dealers.
The post has reached out to social media apps for more comments.
According to a previous report published in The Post, not only is it becoming easier for young people to order drugs, but they are also becoming deadly.
Dr. Nora de Volko, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in the article: There are those who can kill. ” “We believe this is one of the factors that is putting teenagers at greater risk of death.”
In January, a drug dealer was charged with murder after selling fentanyl to a 12-year-old girl who had taken a lethal overdose. The two allegedly used abusive language to request their drug order.