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Kids are buying drugs online. Here’s how you can protect them.

From online slang to parental control apps, here's everything you need to know.

TAMPA, Fla — Kids buying drugs is nothing new. But nowadays, kids don't have to get them from friends at a party or a medicine cabinet – they're buying them online.

Whether it's social media or the "dark web," it can be overwhelming for parents to keep track of everything. So, we break down the most important things you need to know to keep your kids safe online.

The basics

New social media apps are popping up all the time, but it's never too late to get acquainted with them and refresh yourself on the basics.

Some of the most popular apps are:

  • Instagram - Mostly used for sharing photos, videos, and direct messaging(DM) with other users
  • Snapchat - Used for sharing photos, videos, and private messages that disappear after they're viewed
  • TikTok - Used to create and share videos

It's important to note that even if you're a friend or follower of your child online, most of these apps have settings to block certain content from being seen by certain users.

Some common abbreviations are:

  • DOC - Drug of choice
  • PAL - Parents are listening
  • RN - Right now
  • P911 - Parent alert
  • 420 - Marijuana
  • KPC - Keeping parents clueless
  • G2G - Got to go
  • TTYL - Talk to you later

As kids head back to school, the Pasco Sheriff's Office shared this graphic of 15 apps families should be on the lookout...

Posted by 10 Tampa Bay on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Drug street names your kids may be using

  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan) - Often referred to as blues, tranks, downers, and zannies
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, Mushrooms, Ketamine, PCP) - kay, special K, acid, caps, shrooms, wet
  • Illicit Drugs (Cocaine, Heroin, MDMA, synthetic marijuana) - Bump, blow, powder, tar, Molly, uppers, X, spice

Check out this detailed list of different drug street names.


  • Keep open communication - Let your kids know that they can tell you what's happening with their friends or if they end up in a situation they don't feel comfortable in.
  • Teach kids about the consequences - Because drugs are so readily available, kids may think that they aren't really that dangerous. Make sure kids understand the risks of buying, taking, or selling drugs.
  • Keep an eye on their search history - If you suspect drug use, it may be a good idea to monitor what your kids are searching for online. There are also several parental control apps that can help you.
  • Monitor their delivered packages - Drugs are often delivered in unmarked and discreet packages, so if something looks wrong, ask your child about it.

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