Do you even know what that means? Both terms derive from the abuse of cold and cough medications to get high. Robitussin is commonly associated with robotripping. Likewise, CCC or Triple C comes from Coricidin Cold & Cough. The actual drug contained in over-the-counter cough suppressants is called Dextromethorphan, or DXM. After 900 milligrams, it becomes a hallucinogen. Other slang terms for DXM include Skittles, Red Devils, Candy, Robo, Dex and Vitamin D, just to name a few.
Whether talking in class or texting from home, teachers and parents need to be paying attention to what is being said. Kids will always try to stay one step ahead by using nicknames and abbreviations to talk about things they don’t want adults to know about. Molly, Smiles and X are used to describe MDMA or Ecstasy. PK is a simple abbreviation for painkillers. A new one I heard just this week for cocaine is Pyramid.
Slang is used in texting language for far more than just drugs. Much of slang in text messaging is innocent, some of it adopted by adults, such as LOL (Laugh Out Loud), OMG (Oh My Gosh) and IDK (I Don’t Know). What about some of the less obvious ones such as GNOC or MIRL? Any parent would be alarmed to find that on their child’s phone or computer after learning they stand for Get Naked On Camera and Meet In Real Life.
When I started writing this article, I was planning on a list of popular slang terms you should be aware of and websites that can be used to decode ones you’re not sure about. I quickly realized that the slang terms are endless and that they are always changing. Any Internet search engine will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. The reality, however, is that many students do not use a secret language to talk about these things. A lot of time they text in language that any parent can understand, if they simply take the time to look. The students I talked to have no fear of what’s on their phone because their parents never take the time to look.
I encourage parents to monitor their child’s phone or Internet behavior. I would much rather explain their lack of privacy in my home compared to wondering why I didn’t do more to keep my child safe. The key is not to spy on your kids and look at their phone while they’re sleeping, although you certainly have the right to do so. They key is communicating with your child early and often. They should expect a parent to ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they will be with. They should assume that a parent is going to look at their phone from time to time and read what they’re putting on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t wait until they’re in trouble before you look. Let them know from the beginning that you will be paying attention and that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
(Chad Moen is the School Resource Officer at North High School. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)