What is a #carepackage to a teenager? Not what you think

Example of a #carepackage from Instagram.

To teenagers, a #carepackage is a package of drugs, something they ordered on social media like Instagram or SnapChat.

Here’s how it works. The “buyer” can go on social media and write that they are looking for a #carepackage.  Then a drug entrepreneur contacts them, gives them an address, they pick up the package and leave money.

Often the package doesn’t label the drugs. It just comes with notes that say, “Snort it,” “Swallow it” or “Smoke it.”

So about a week ago, a seventeen-year-old in Richmond ordered one, used the drugs and ended up overdosing because it was heroin laced with fentanyl. It was not labeled as such. The police officer interviewing the young man got everyone in the department to call or text a teenager they knew. Every last teen knew what a #carepackage was. Replies went like this, “Oh yeah. That’s a package with drugs ordered on social media.”

Usually care packages contain things like but aren’t limited to: pre-rolled joints or blunts, loose grams (low or high grade) cannabis, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), Hydrocodone (Norco Lorcet Vicodin Lortabs), Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin, Endocet, Primlev), Alprazolam (Xanax, Handlebars) , Benzoylmethylecgonine (Cocaine, Crack), Codeine (Actavis, Tylenol T3, 2065 V 4 etc), Promethazine (pills or liquid), alcohol, cigarettes, or Salvia Divinorum. (This part courtesy of urban dictionary.)

Of course, in the scenario above the #carepackage was a highly toxic and dangerous substance. Fentanyl is so dangerous, the police departments now stock Narcan for their drug-sniffing dogs because they can overdose if the tips of their noses touch fentanyl.

Examples I found on Instagram during my heroin task force meeting in less than three minutes are below. I searched the hashtag #carepackage. That tag had a lot of legitimate and traditional care packages and I had to pick them out.

I thought the first one was balls of broccoli until someone told me it was marijuana. Yeah I know. I’m naive. I once thought the powder on the end of someone’s nose at work was remnants of a powdered donut and I was pissed I didn’t get any. It was cocaine.

The alarming part is that meth and cocaine are now making a big comeback.

The news just gets scarier. At least now you know.


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Covert spaces teens use to hide drugs

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AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

4 thoughts on “What is a #carepackage to a teenager? Not what you think”

  1. Great story Anne. Heartbreaking for the young man who didn’t know the heroin was laced with Fentanyl-fatal. Will be looking for these on IG immediately to expose them. Thank you. Donna

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