According to Today, Dr. Laura Berman lost her son when he was just 16 years old to a drug overdose. She said that he connected with a drug dealer on social media, and the drugs he received were laced, and he sadly overdosed in his room.
While this is a tragic story, Dr. Laura is using her experience to educate other parents on how teenagers communicate when it comes to drugs, and they are using emojis to do it. Teenagers are incredibly adept with technology, and a lot of their conversations include emojis, and while seeing emojis in their messages may seem harmless, there are some that have a bigger meaning to the online world.
Dr. Laura Shared them on her Instagram page, a place where she now educates parents and advocates for protecting children online. Some of the examples include:
•A snowflake emoji which means ‘cocaine’
•Grapes are used for ‘cough syrup’
•A rocket is used to mean the potency of a drug
Dr. Lauren said that teenagers are talking about drugs in the language they are most fluent in, and that is emojis. While parents know what emojis are and how to use them, it is unlikely that they are aware of the hidden meanings behind some of them.
She stated that it is important that parents remain up to date and educated on the language their teenagers are using so that they don’t fly under their radar. Her comment section was full of grateful parents who were thanking her for the tips. One mom said that this is “so scary” because emojis are a common language for teenagers. She had a conversation with her sons about this, and they confirmed that while they do not partake in substance use, they did know the meaning behind all of them.
READ NEXT: Teens More Likely To Drink If Heavy Social Media Users
Sources: Today, Instagram via @drlauraberman
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