Drug dealers using emojis to sell drugs online

CLEVELAND (WJW) – They give the impression of being harmless sufficient, however the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning the general public a couple of secret emoji code being utilized by drug sellers and youngsters.

The DEA launched a decoder reference information for folks, caregivers and educators to not solely inform them, however probably save lives.

“When there’s an overdose and you’re trying to track the source, you go through phones and computers and oftentimes we see these emojis in those conversations,” mentioned DEA public data officer Brian McNeal.

A few of the emojis are apparent, like a capsule representing pretend prescribed drugs, however others seem way more benign.

For instance, a blue coronary heart is for meth, a brown coronary heart for heroin and a key emoji represents cocaine.

A banana may also be code for Percocet & Oxycodone, whereas a palm tree, Christmas tree, clover and cloud can all symbolize marijuana.

Others are much less apparent, together with a chocolate sweet bar for Xanax.

“Some I could see, like the dragon for heroin, but the chocolate bar I was like, ‘oh okay, that’s a new one,’” mentioned McNeal.

The capsules are “fake/counterfeit” prescription meds and all the medication probably laced with lethal quantities of fentanyl, which impressed the DEA’s #ONEPILLCANKILL marketing campaign.

“We’re finding fentanyl mixed with everything,” mentioned McNeal, “If the DEA were to seize 100 counterfeit pills right now, 42 would contain a lethal dosage of fentanyl.”

The DEA has additionally discovered colourful capsules containing meth that appear to be youngsters nutritional vitamins and different capsules marked as hydrocodone transported in baggage of sweet, all containing fentanyl.

“This is a deadly serious issue,” mentioned McNeal.

In early March, the usMilitary Academy of West Level confirmed that no less than two of the colleges cadets, together with a soccer participant, had been concerned in a scenario by which six folks overdosed on fentanyl-laced cocaine at a Florida house throughout Spring Break. 

Two of the six had been in essential situation.

Final fall, the DEA confiscated practically two million pretend capsules from Cleveland and dozens of busts throughout a three-month interval had been linked on to sellers promoting on social media with emojis and overdoses.

“We’re not saying emojis themselves are a clear indication that someone is buying or selling drugs, but those emojis combined with maybe a change in behavior, change in performance of a loved one, that can be an indication that someone is having a substance abuse issue,” mentioned McNeal.

For extra data or to report suspected unlawful drug manufacturing and exercise, go to the DEA’s web site tip line on their web site.

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