Protecting our Youth

If you want to prevent your kids from becoming another DEA or CDC statistic,  you can NEVER let down your guard. It never hurts to know too much because hindsight is always “20/20”. So never take your eyes off of them.

“Knowledge itself is Power” -Sir Francis Bacon

So how do kids these days get drugs? Teenage drug dealers operate in shrouds of secrecy around schools, potentially making deals on a regular basis. The CDC reports that 21.8% of all high school students say that they have been sold, given or offered drugs on school property. Kids used to have limited options for where they could get drugs: friends at school, medicine cabinets or on the street. But now they don’t even have to leave the house. Buying drugs online has become increasingly popular and drug dealers are targeting kids on social media.

Snapchat and Instagram are the popular platforms for this, but it happens on other platforms too. Dealers post photos with captions that include hashtags, emojis and instructions for contacting the them. Communication and transactions usually occur off of the site using encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or Kik. The buyer can pay using a service like Venmo /Cash App/Crypto and the product is shipped to their door. Sometimes people do choose to meet in person and pay with cash.

So how do you keep your kids away from drug dealers?

Know who is communicating with them.
A good start is monitoring their phone and online active. Keep an eye out for any use of apps like Snap Chat, Telegram, etc., This is the “new normal” when it comes to drug dealing. There are many free online tools(OSINT) that can be used to “skip trace” names, phone numbers, addresses, social media accounts and even legal records. Below is a list tools that are free or relatively cheap.

OSINT Framework
The Ultimate OSINT Collection

Been Verified
State Records

You can also Google the keywords “(Your County)(Your State) Case Lookup”. Normally this will lead you to your local county open-records online case lookup. County records are normally free of cost.

Know where they are at all times!
Take you kids with you when you can, but when you can’t, keep watching. Both phone and automobile trackers can be quit resourceful. Obey local law, but kids now know thanks to the internet how to “over come” trackers. In most states, if it’s legally(something in your name) “yours”, you have the right to track it. Personally, we are a big fan of the “On-Board Vehicle Tracker”. Below are some resourceful links.

Land, Sea & Air Tracker
Over all cost for the device and 6 months of service is under $180. Best part is you can get a phone alert with the app if the car moves if you set-up a “fence”. You can set-up movement restrictions. Great tool!

This app lets you find out what they’re up to on their phone and online. And they won’t even know you’re using it.

Watch the Money!
If you suspect your kids are doing dope, remember they can’t get it if they can’t afford it. Don’t give them cash. Don’t wire them cash. Always ask them why they need cash and just buy it through the merchant. Just use the excuse “I’m putting it on my credit card so I can use my points”. Keep an eye out for use of Venmo and Cash App. When you control the money, you can control the behavior.

See Something, Say Something to Someone.
When people do drugs, their behavior changes. The way they move through their day changes. The way they speak changes. The way they look at you changes. When you notice “change”, it never hurts to speak up and start asking probing questions. If they become standoffish or confrontational, it’s probably time to start talking to others. A good start is speaking to a psychologist or a rehabilitation facility. If you notice laws are being broken, just remember “Jail is better than death”….call law enforcement immediately. Below are some useful links to help you make the right decision.

The Warning Signs

Signs & Symptoms Of Drug Addiction

Free Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers