top of page


Buying Drugs Online

What You Should Know & How to Protect Your Kids

It is not hard for teens to use the internet to buy drugs without their parents’ knowledge. The internet has become one of the main ways to sell synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which has become a leading cause of deadly drug overdoses.

When it comes to teens and drug use, social media can play a huge role.

Through different hashtags (#s) they can be exposed to offers from dealers to buy drugs through various social sites. 

It is never too late for parents to get acquainted with the various social apps (applications), and the slang terms many of them use to communicate while texting and using social media. 

Some popular ones include:

  • Instagram (app where users share photos and videos)

  • Snapchat (app where users can create and share photos, videos. The content is meant to disappear after the person views them)

  • TikTok (a social network where users can create and share videos)

  • Tumblr (users can post photos, videos, gifs and more in a microblogging format)

  • Twitch (app where users can livestream themselves playing video games and interact with viewers)

These apps are free to download from app stores.

Kids are often one step ahead of their parents in the latest privacy settings, allowing them to block you from viewing their activity, be on private, and hide their friends lists

Sometimes emojis can be used in place of words that would raise suspicion in a conversation in these applications. Emojis are frequently used in these applications for innocent means as well. Please note that the ones being used change constantly.

The ones below are examples that have been used before in drug purchases tracked by the DEA. Just because an emoji is on this list does not mean that using it is a sign of an issue, but be aware that even an innocuous method can be used to purchase drugs through social media or text messaging.

🍇💜🍼 🌴🌲😮 🍄 ⚡️❌💊 💎🎱 🤎🐉 🔮💙🧪 🍪 🍁 🚀💣💥 👑💰🤑 💵   A-🚊 🍫🔵🅿️  🍌



Drug use and effects on the brain

When people take drugs, the brain is flooded with chemicals that take over the
brain’s reward system and cause them to repeat behaviors that feel good but
aren’t healthy.
The brain adapts to continued drug use by developing a tolerance, which means
it takes more of a drug to feel the same result.
Not only does this lessen the brain’s ability to resist temptation, but it can also
affect the amount of pleasure a person receives from normal, healthy activities
like enjoying food or the company of others.



How are people exposed to xylazine?

Illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl can be mixed with xylazine, either to enhance drug effects or increase street value by increasing their weight.3,9 People who use illegal drugs may not be aware of the presence of xylazine. DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states, and the DEA laboratory system reported that approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA in 2022 contained xylazine.10 Xylazine is usually injected, although it can be swallowed or sniffed.

Should naloxone be given in the case of an overdose involving xylazine?

Naloxone should be given in response to ANY suspected drug overdose to reverse any possible opioid effects. Naloxone will not reverse the effects of xylazine.11 However, because xylazine is often used with opioids like fentanyl, naloxone should still be given. It’s important to call 911 for additional medical treatment, especially since the effects of xylazine may continue after naloxone is given.


bottom of page