The Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week that emojis, once thought to only entice sex through peaches and eggplant, can now also be used to buy drugs. In a chart that is printable for your wall, they have posted an "emoji drug code guide." This informs parents that their child's use of emoji is very possibly a secret screen language for purchasing drugs and communicating with drug dealers. For any child unclear on how to do this, or which emoji to use, the DEA has also provided a menu. Here's a bit of audio playing with that:
There is a measure of good intention here with the DEA. Many pills bought off the street are currently laced with Fentanyl, which is a complete horror to consider. But no kid wants to take Fentanyl (unless they order it with a clear 'smiling face with tear', of course).
Instead of encouraging distrust and resentment with parents and kids, the real push from the DEA should be to provide your kids with no-questions access to Fetanyl test strips – Similar to just giving your kids condoms, a simple test for them to know what they're about to ingest would likely impact the death rate on laced pills. If you're already snooping on their messages for a text code (a code that can easily change, incidentally) you might consider speaking candidly over Hallmark Channel espionage.
The DEA has a history of this, and it's always comical in terms of effort and effect. Synonym addicts will enjoy their word-packed 2018 PDF on Slang Terms and Code Words (which introduced me to the term 'whiffle dust', thanks for that) or for fans of visual aids, there is the diagram-packed 1960s/1970s "Diagram of a Drug Abuser".
All of this is the DEA's way of saying: "Welcome to 2022!" This new episode of Spoken Word with Electronics tackles the emoji issue.