Common Drug Slang Emojis Decoded 2022
Every generation has its own drug slang but today’s teens have a whole new language. Drug slang emojis are used as a secret code for messaging about illegal substances online. These colorful icons may look harmless which means that parents can easily overlook them.
What’s more, they are designed to avoid detection by law enforcement and the algorithms used by social media sites. Without adequate protections in place, the responsibility for monitoring teens’ online activity largely falls on parents.
This article reveals the hidden meanings behind common emojis used to buy or sell drugs to help parents understand what their teens are saying to friends and strangers online. For non drug-related emojis, learn these other 45 emoji slang meanings.
The prevalence of teen drug use and online exposure
Since the swinging sixties, many teenagers have experimented with illegal substances and this generation is no different. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported these drug use stats among children and teenagers 1 1. CDC: Teen Substance Use & Risks × :
- About half of 9th to 12th grade students have used marijuana
- 20% of 12th graders have accessed prescription drugs without a prescription
- By 12th grade, about two-thirds of students have tried alcohol
- Around 40% of 9th to 12th grade students have smoked cigarettes.
However, for today’s teens, social networking platforms are making drugs more normalized and readily available. Youth are particularly vulnerable to what they see online as they are highly susceptible to peer pressure and celebrity influencers. A UK study found that one in four young people aged 16-24 years old had seen illegal drug advertised on social media: 56% saw them advertised on Snapchat, 55% on Instagram and 47% on Facebook 2 2. DM for Details: Selling Drugs in the Age of Social Media × .
On the ground, UK Lochee Labour councillor Michael Marra believes TikTok in particular to be contributing to the city’s drug crisis, he said: “The purchase of drugs from online forums and through social media is a growing problem. Parents will be particularly concerned that apps such as TikTok, so commonly used by young people, are being exploited in this way.”
A 2021 report by Bark 3 3. Bark: Annual Report 2021 × into children and technology analyzed over 3.4 billion messages across texts, email, and 30+ apps and social media sites. It found that 5.35% of tweens and 93.31% of teens had engaged in online conversations about drugs and alcohol. Bark noted a 21.2% increase in alerts for drugs and alcohol compared with 2020. These alerts can range from messages about prescriptions, to videos showing children taking illegal substances.
Parents should be aware that the threat of drugs no longer lurks on street corners. Using messaging apps and social media sites, they can be bought at any time and delivered straight to the door as easily as ordering a pizza. To keep this ease of access under the radar, a totally new language of drug slang emojis has been developed.
Popular drug slang terms
This drug slang glossary reveals the hidden meanings behind some seemingly innocent emojis that teens are using to access drugs online:
🥧 — Batch of drugs
💊 — Prescription pills, drugs in general, or heroin
🔌 — Drug dealer
🤑,👑,💰, 💵, 🔌 Dealer advertising they sell / deliver
🚀, 💣,💥 — Drug potency
⚗️ — A bong
💨, 🚬 — Smoking a joint
⛽ — High-quality drugs, or to be intoxicated
🔥 — To ‘blaze’ a joint or to be ‘lit’, meaning intoxicated
🌿, 🍁, 🎄, 🍃, 🥦, 🍀,🌴 — Marijuana
❄️, 🥥, 🤧, 🔑, ⛄, 🎱 — Cocaine
💉, 🐉, 🐎, 🎯 — Heroin
💎, 🏔, ❄, 🧪 — Crystal meth
🍄 — Magic mushrooms
💊, A-,🚆 — Adderall
💊, 🍫, 🚌 — Xanax
💊, 🔵, 🅿️, 🍌 — Percocet and Oxycodone
🍼, 🍇, 💜, 🔮 — Cough syrup
🍬, ❤, ⚡, 🤯, ❌ — MDMA and Mollies
Combination emoji drug slang
📦 🪂 – Package arrived
💯pk – 100 pills
⛽ 🚗 📱 – Mobile / delivery
The above drug slang dictionary is intended to explain the most popular emojis used to represent illegal substances. It is not a definitive list because new drug emojis are being added each year as dealers try to evade detection.
What can parents do?
In February 2021, 16-year-old Sammy Berman tragically died from a drugs overdose after taking a lethal dose of fentanyl bought from a dealer on Snapchat. Since then, his mother – American therapist Dr Laura Berman – has been sharing information about the drug-related emojis teens use to help parents decipher their kids’ coded messages. Dr Berman is urging people to sign an online petition to allow parental monitoring tools on every social media platform.
While it is important for parents to be aware of the double meaning of some emojis, they should not instantly jump to conclusions if their teen is posting cake or broccoli icons. Parents should monitor their teen’s social media activity and emoji use, and look out for any outwards signs that may suggest they are involved in illegal drugs use. According to the Drug Enforcement Association 4 4. DEA Emoji Drug Code × (DEA) these signs may include:
- Behavioral changes such as withdrawing from friends and relatives
- Change in friendship group; hanging out with people who may come across as questionable
- Spending an increasing amount of time using emojis to communicate on text messages or social media with people other than friends and family.
The DEA recommends that parents regularly talk to their children about the dangers of drugs. If a parent notices that their teen is using emojis to communicate with someone they do not know, they are strongly advised to have a serious conversation about their online activities.
To further enhance your understanding of teen culture and how to help them stay safe, learn these 130 teen slang words and phrases.