DEA Releases Emoji Drug Decoder

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With New Year’s Eve around the corner, many of you are frantically texting your drug dealer with requests, often using encrypted messaging apps like Signal or Telegram.  But for those of you still using text or messenger, the DEA wants you to know that THEY KNOW what you’re referencing.

This December the Drug Enforcement Administration published its ‘Drug Emoji Decoded’ guide on their website.

DEA Emoji Drug Decoder

The DEA Guide description literally says: “This reference guide is intended to give parents, caregivers, educators, and other influencers a better sense of how emojis are being used in conjunction with illegal drugs. Fake prescription pills, commonly laced with deadly fentanyl and methamphetamine, are often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms – making them available to anyone with a smartphone.”

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Not that we agree with the Narcs completely on this one, I mean who uses a baby bottle emoji for cough syrup? And who the fuck is buying their drugs on e-commerce platforms?  (We must be getting old).

Anyway we do, however, agree that fentanyl-laced drugs are incredibly dangerous, in fact fentanyl-related drug overdoses have surged over the last few years because the synthetic drug can be manufactured domestically and is up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

That doesn’t mean that if you are not buying heroin, that your drugs may not be spiked with fentanyl too.  Illegal drug dealing is not a perfect science.  So if you are buying drugs (especially from someone you don’t know) you should test them for fentanyl before using them.  And you can also keep Narcan on hand in case someone overdoses.

You can order fentanyl testing strips from DanceSafe right here. And while we are loathe to suggest Amazon, you can get fentanyl testing kits from them right here. They probably deliver faster.

You can also check out FentCheck who has testing strips in a couple dozen bars in Oakland and there or four in San Francisco.


In San Francisco, it’s very easy to get Narcan, a simple-to-use medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and gets a person breathing again. Anybody can get a free nasal Narcan kit and brief training from our friends at the CBHS Pharmacy at 1380 Howard Street (at 10th Street), Monday – Friday, 9 am – 3:30 pm.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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