(614) 445-8131

For immediate or emergency help, please dial 911

    First Name*

    Last Name*





    Dark Side of Emojis: Rise of Emojis in Communications about Drugs

    🙏➡️👤 for your ⏰ reading this today.

    Just so ➡️👤💡emojis are being used by just about everyone these days.

    Okay, we’ll 🛑 for now, but in our world, we’ve been seeing these emoji conversations more and more. We see providers using them with each other (as noted recently by the JAMA Network), and clients conversing without needing actual text.

    While most of these conversations are innocent, there is a growing dark side to emoji communication. Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety offered a new window into this communication, warning parents, caregivers and providers about the use of emojis in discussing the marketing, buying, and selling of drugs.

    And though several emojis may be somewhat obvious in this context, many are not. For example, a snail representing fentanyl or an ice cream cone for methamphetamine. This in addition to a ticket stub as an indicator for discussing drug price (among many others). The full bulletin is below and NBC4 offered a good summary as well.

    “Although use of these emojis is most often harmless, it’s important that parents keep this alert in mind, especially if their child is showing other signs of withdrawal or drug abuse,” Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center Executive Director Cynthia Peterman told NBC4. “The use of emojis in this manner is a nationwide trend, and our analysts are seeing it here in Ohio as they analyze electronic devices seized in ongoing drug investigations.”

    Understanding how we communicate with one another, and how others communicate, is vitally important in our collective effort to help those we love live happy and healthy lives.

    As our own Oyauma Garrison wrote in The Columbus Dispatch this spring, we still have a lot of work to do to achieve an addiction-free world. Making sure we understand where people are and meet them there is a good first step.

    Questions? Comments? Want help now from Maryhaven? Start at today or call 614-445-8131.