Sellers utilizing emoji to promote drugs, cocaine — search for these codes


A child bottle, a coronary heart, and a bunch of purple grapes. In case you noticed these emoji in a textual content message in your child’s cellphone, you’d most likely suppose nothing of it.

However that lineup of seemingly harmless symbols may really be your kid’s means of signaling that they are out there to get excessive on cough syrup.

A capsule, a chocolate bar, and a bus? That combo could possibly be the launching level for an unlawful transaction of Xanax.

“These totally different drug organizations, they’re at all times attempting to remain one step forward, to keep away from detection and to make issues simpler for his or her clients to order medication,” Timothy McMahon, supervisory particular agent for the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, advised New Jersey 101.5.

The DEA is as soon as once more reminding mother and father, caregivers, educators, and others to pay attention to emoji drug codes that the company has been in a position to “decode” over time. The company’s first warning was introduced in 2021.

“Lots of people are afraid of going into sure areas to purchase medication, so it is very handy to make use of social media,” McMahon mentioned.

Courtesy Townsquare Media/DEA

Courtesy Townsquare Media/DEA

Townsquare Media/DEA

Townsquare Media/DEA

Townsquare Media/DEA

Townsquare Media/DEA

Courtesy Townsquare Media/DEA

Courtesy Townsquare Media/DEA

The DEA notes its reference information is only a pattern, not an all-inclusive listing. Emoji on their very own should not be indicative of criminality, the company says, however a dialog with a beloved one could also be mandatory if these symbols are coupled with different indicators comparable to a sudden lack of earnings or a change in conduct or look.

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“We have been working with the totally different social media firms, attempting to get a deal with on this, attempting to get them to perform a little bit extra so far as monitoring what is going on on,” McMahon mentioned.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You’ll be able to attain him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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