Parent Alert April 2023

How Emojis Are Used for Drug Activity

The Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center (ONIC) released a public safety bulletin in March to alert parents about emojis being used for drug activity. Emojis are fun to use in our text messages and social media posts, but they carry more meaning in 2023 than when they first came out in 1999. These symbols can be used in drug communications to refer to physical, psychological, and physiological effects of drugs. This communication is being used nationwide, and is not relegated to Ohio. ONIC provided charts that show how emojis are being used, and here are a few examples:
  • Drug dealers can be represented by an electrical plug and drug price can be represented by a ticket stub.
  • Drug potency can be referred to by fire, a bomb, or a skull.
  • A palm tree, potted plant, or a leaf can represent marijuana, and a THC vape cartridge can be referred to by a grocery cart.
These are just a few of the many different ways emojis can be used as alternatives for drug communication, and you can find the full list ONIC shared in their report by following the link below. ONIC clarified that "The presence of these emojis in communications can be one indication of possible drug activity, though it is important to note that these meanings are not definitive and emojis can be used in other ways." The majority of youth are not using substances, but this information is important to keep in mind especially if your child is showing signs of withdrawal or drug misuse. For more information on the emojis being used in drug communication, and how to recognize warning signs of drug use please follow the links below.


How to Spot Emoji Code for Drug Deals
Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center Warns of Emojis Symbolizing Potential Drug Activity

What Are Social Host Laws?

You might notice some new additions to the lawns in your neighborhood over the next couple of months, and I am not referring to the multitude of signs asking you to vote for someone.  I am talking about the signs that say "Parents who Host Lose the Most", but what does that mean? These signs are referring to social host laws, and are there to remind parents that it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors.  There is a misconception that serving alcohol to minors at home is safer than letting them find it themselves, and some people also believe that it is legal to do so.  Social host liability laws and ordinances were put in place to reduce youth access to alcohol.

Youth obtain alcohol through two main sources, retail and social, and most youth are getting alcohol through social methods which include parents, siblings, and older friends.  "Social Host Liability laws hold individuals who knowingly provide or allow the use of alcohol by minors or intoxicated adults liable for resulting property damage, injury, death, or violation fines."  These laws are important because studies show that adolescents who attend parties where alcohol is supplied by parents are at an increased risk for alcohol-related problems like drinking and driving.

Ohio's social host law is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  This means that if you knowingly serve alcohol to someone under 21 you are facing a $1,000.00 fine and/or up to six months in jail.  Students have a lot to celebrate at the end of the school year with prom, graduation, and open houses giving them reasons to party with friends.  You can help reduce underage drinking by providing a safe place for youth to hang out with friends and family.  Please visit the links below to learn more about social host laws, and what you can do to keep your community safe.


Encourage Good Study Habits

The end of the school year is quickly approaching.  Students are preparing for exams, and this preparation can be stressful.  One way you can help your child prepare for testing is by encouraging good study habits.  Good study habits are shown to improve academic performance, and they can help students feel more prepared and less stressed on the day of the test.  Here are a few ideas for how you can help your child prepare.  Please visit the links below for more information as well as tips on how to practice self-care while studying.
  • Create a designated study space for your student(s)
  • Keep a planner
  • Take effective notes
  • Practice for tests
  • Avoid cramming
  • Teach your child to ask for help
  • Avoid distraction


Thank you for being a vital part of our community!
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