DEA decodes common emoji language used to discuss drugs

💊🔵🅿🍌 is a common emoji code for Percocet or Oxycodone, says DEA

The DEA is decoding common emojis used by drug dealers to discuss the drugs used. One community member who works to help young addicts find a path to recovery said sometimes there’s no decoding; the drug talk is in plain sight and easy to understand.

San Antonio – The Drug Enforcement Administration is decoding common emojis used by drug dealers to discuss the drugs used.

One community member who works closely to help young addicts find a path to recovery said that sometimes there’s no decoding -- the drug talk is in plain sight and easy to understand.

One mother, Veronica Kaprosy, is currently waiting months to find out if her 17-year-old daughter Danica died as a result of a drug overdose.

“Death is permanent. She’s never coming back,” she said.

However, as she waits, Kaprosy is using her grief to help warn other parents to be relentlessly involved in their teen’s business on social media and on their phones.

“Be more involved, don’t give them that privacy that they don’t need or deserve,” she said. “Look through their phone, know who they’re talking to. Know their friends, be on their Instagram.”

The DEA has released a page of common emojis used by users and drug dealers to discuss the most common drugs.

Corey Handy, a DEA special agent in charge, said social media is where most of the drug sales are happening.

“Drug traffickers, or drug dealers, are no longer standing on the street corners. They are utilizing social media platforms,” Handy explained. “I encourage parents to be more inquisitive. Ask questions, ask ‘who are you texting? What are you discussing?’”

The Program Administrator for Rise Recovery Academy, a high school for students battling drug addiction, Bea Blackmond, said sometimes the drug use is in plain sight.

“It’s not even about the emojis, you know, we’re talking about their Instagrams, their Snapchats, you know, and they’re showing exactly what it is that [dealers] have to offer,” she explained.

Blackmond said involved parents never go out of style, suggesting parents get in their teen’s business and not give them a space to hide things.

“The parents think they’re like, oh I got to give them their space. But in reality, we need to bring them a lot closer in,” Blackmond said.

Families with young adults who are battling addiction and need help can reach out to 210-SAY-CARE. 

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About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.