Texting has become so common among teenagers, it's almost rare to see one not typing out a text-message on a cell phone, but moms and dads may have more reason for concern than just the cell phone bill. Those texts could contain coded drug messages.
As a mother or father, it's hard to keep up with lingo. If you find a text on your teen's cell that says, "I want a burrito"...normally, that wouldn't be cause for alarm. But what if we told you that is text code for ecstasy? And a message that says, "Has anyone seen Tina" …that's code for meth. "I’m fixin a BLT" …that means rolling a blunt. "I want a quart of Ben and Jerry's" actually refers to the drug Ice.
Sounds strange – I know.
Police first started noticing coded messages among drug dealers and college students as far back as 2006. Law enforcement has to keep up with the changes in technology to stay on top of it – and the parents do also. There are a number of online resources for parents to learn the slang being used, but it's important to remember that there's no one dictionary. What the teens use in Indiana is not going to be the same as the ones they use in New York.
The most important thing is to look for something that doesn't fit – especially if it goes along with other signs like changes in appearance, behavior, academic progress or friends.
If you find text using a code that references drugs, be honest with your teenager and say, “I found this …I’m worried …what does this mean.” Talk to them, and if you don't get a good answer that makes a lot of sense to you or a straight answer, then continue to pursue and find out. Stand up and just say no. If you get that feeling in your stomach and you feel like there's a red flag and they're doing something, cut off the text-messaging. Don't be their friend – be their parent.
Chatting on the Internet--
You finally get a glimpse at your teen’s Facebook page, but you don’t understand what you are reading. Don’t feel alone, there’s a new language evolving, and moms and dads need to learn it. This new language makes it easier for children and teens to text, e-mail, talk in chat rooms, blog or to post things on-line that only those privy to the language can understand.
Parent alert codes:
• @@@ or PAL = Parent alert
• 9 = Parent watching
• 99 = Parent stopped watching
• MA = Mom Alert
• PAW = Parents are watching
• PIR = Parent in room
• PLOS = Parents looking over shoulder
• POS = Parents over shoulder
• PRW = Parents are watching.
There are other codes children and teens use as well, and as parents figure out what the codes mean, they will probably change them.
Often times when children or teens are typing, they use emoticons. These are supposed to represent how the writer is feeling, and they are basically pictures made out of text. Some examples are:
:) = happy
:(:) = pig
:-) = tongue-in-cheek
A great site is noslang.com. Here you can actually translate by typing in the complete acronyms you are trying to figure out. They also have a page of the top 25 Internet slang terms that all moms and dads should know. Some of the acronyms are alarming – and rightfully so. All parents need to be up to speed on this new language our kids are speaking.
Don’t be disheartened if you do find your children or teenagers speaking the language …it’s simply how they communicate these days. And all acronyms are not bad …in fact many of them represent good things. But if you do find your youngster using acronyms that contain explicit meanings, you should step in. How you stop the behavior is up to you, but it does need to be dealt with. Sometimes children are talking to people they don’t know in chat rooms where child predators pose as teenagers or young kids.
Some other common codes are:
• 143 – I love you
• 182 – I hate you
• 420 – Marijuana
• 8 – Oral sex
• ADR – Address
• AEAP - As Early As Possible
• ALAP - As Late As Possible
• ASL – Age, sex and location
• ASL - Age/Sex/Location
• Banana – Penis
• CD9 - Code 9 - it means parents are around
• C-P – Sleepy
• D46 - Do you want to have sex?
• F2F - Face-to-Face
• GNOC - Get Naked On Cam
• GNOC - Get naked on camera
• GYPO - Get Your Pants Off
• HAK - Hugs And Kisses
• ILU - I Love You
• IWSN - I Want Sex Now
• J/O - Jerking Off
• KFY -or- K4Y - Kiss For You
• KOTL - Kiss On The Lips
• KPC - Keeping Parents Clueless
• LG6 - Let's have sex
• LMIRL - Let's meet in real life
• LMIRL - Let's Meet In Real Life
• MOOS - Member Of The Opposite Sex
• MorF - Male or Female
• MOS - Mom Over Shoulder
• MOSS - Member(s) Of The Same Sex
• MPFB - My Personal F*** Buddy
• NALOPKT - Not A Lot Of People Know That
• NIFOC - Nude in front of the computer
• NIFOC - Nude In Front Of The Computer
• NMU - Not Much, You?
• P911 - Parent Alert
• PAL - Parents Are Listening
• PAW - Parents Are Watching
• PIR - Parent In Room
• POS - Parent over shoulder
• POS - Parent Over Shoulder -or- Piece Of Shit
• pron – porn
• Q2C - Quick To Cum
• RU/18 - Are You Over 18?
• RUH - Are You Horny?
• RUMORF - Are You Male OR Female?
• S2R - Send To Receive
• SorG - Straight or Gay
• TDTM - Talk dirty to me
• TDTM - Talk Dirty To Me
• WTF - What The Fuck
• WUF - Where You From
• WYCM - Will You Call Me
• WYRN - What's Your Real Name?
• zerg - To gang up on someone
My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents
I continue to enjoy your e-mails and newsletters.
Perhaps you might want to pass along some information to readers about other warning signs that their child is using drugs. I wish I had known more about this myself. Now, I find myself able to help other parents -- I am a school teacher, when they have concerns.
There are simple things to be alert for, although I am uncertain about the use of some of the items:
- pencils with missing erasers
- hollow pens -- the ink park has been taken out
- missing aluminum foil
- small amounts of cash seem to be missing from wallet or purse
- burnt paper of any kind
- packets of zigzag paper
- incense burning
- pipes made from aluminum foil
- matches -- especially wooden kitchen matches
- missing matches and candles
- items of value (video games etc.) have been "given to a friend" -- they were usually sold
If parents suspect any sort of drug use, they should search the child's room. Drug using teens tend to be careless.
Many parents, like myself, do not realize how important it is to lock up ALL medicine, even if they think their children are not using anything. My son was stealing some of my medicine to sell. At first I had a strong box, but then he found the spare key. I looked around for small digital safes. There is a key override, but I have the key at a friend's house.
I knew I needed to lock up my medicines, but no one told me how to do so -- that would be very easy and convenient. I keep the small safe on the floor in my bathroom. When I searched the internet, I was able to find something very small and relatively light -- and easy to use.
Marijuana is definitely a gateway drug for many teens. And it is easier to obtain than alcohol. Once they are using marijuana, other drugs like Ecstasy can be next.
If I had this information early on, it would have been useful. The sooner parents know the signs, the more of a chance they have to deal with it. Parents need to be careful about giving cash to their child -- and cut off allowances if they confirm drug use.
Finally, parents who are very concerned can purchase phones with tracking devices. Sprint's family locator works well. The tracking device in the phone cannot be turned off once it is activated. The only way the teen can stop the tracking is to turn the phone off -- which they don't do very often. If a teen is out all night, the parent can at least see where they are. I didn't go pick my son up or confront him at the location -- it just gave me peace of mind to know where he was, and that I could go get him the next day if need be, or how to find him if I got a distress call from him or someone else. It has an alert feature, and I programmed it for every half hour -- like 8:20, 8:33 etc. That way I really didn't have to go in a check it all the time. I could just go in once a day and click on history to see where he had been roaming around to. It was useful.