YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Narcotics investigators want parents to be aware of some emojis and terms that youth are using to buy and sell drugs on social media.
Emojis are being used to communicate characteristics of the drugs such as potency, effects and categories.
The use of the emojis is a nationwide trend and they’ve been seen in Ohio as investigators analyze electronic devices seized in drug cases.
“The presence of these emojis in communications can be one indication of possible drug activity, though it is important to note that these meanings are not definitive and emojis can be used in other ways,” officials from the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center said.
You can read the entire public bulletin about the emojis here.
Emojis can refer to specific types of drugs such as a peeled banana for oxycodone/Percocet, a step ladder for alprazolam/Xanax, a snail for fentanyl, or a palm tree for marijuana.
Emojis are also used in generic ways to denote a drug dealer with an electrical outlet plug or the price of a drug by using a concert ticket stub. Other general references include using a flame, gasoline pump, or goat to depict the high potency of a drug and an astronaut, rocket, or face with an exploding brain to describe the euphoria of drug use.
To report a drug tip to ONIC, please call 1-833-OHIO-NIC (644-6642).