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Drug traffickers changing tactics to target teens in schools

Posted at 7:51 PM, Sep 17, 2018

The war on drugs is not just happening on Valley roadways or along the border. Schools are also a prime target for traffickers.

The DEA says times have changed. Teenagers are trading drug deals on street corners for smartphones, computers and the internet. It is a whole new world, and drug traffickers are taking notice.

"There's really nothing a kid can't get their hands on," said DEA Special Agent Doug Coleman.

It is a daunting thought for any parent sending their child off to school. Drugs on campus are nothing new but these days the type and quantity are.

"What we see is a little bit of everything," said Coleman.

Marijuana, prescription drugs, spice, and heroin readily available with a simple swipe, click or text. They also come with no guarantees of what is really inside.

"The drug looks like a Xanax tablet but is laced with Fentanyl," said Coleman. "Your teen can go on the internet, buy Fentanyl from a Chinese website and it will show up at your doorstep in four days."

Fueling the problem is a younger generation of drug traffickers, looking to cash in on the growing tech trends.

"They know how to utilize encrypted applications for phones, they know how to utilize all these websites, they know how to utilize all this stuff," said Coleman.

The DEA has answered back with a specialized team of its own, but Coleman says the solution can start at home. Toss unused prescription meds and monitor your child's time online.

"You've got to know what they're doing, and you've got to see it because it's a different world now than when we were growing up," said Coleman.

We have a special section of our website dedicated to helping families dealing with drug abuse. Click here for more information.