There’s two things police are trying to make parents aware of: drugs and gangs. If you think this is the same old story, consider this twist: police want you to focus on wasping and social media.

WHAT IS WASPING?

First, let’s take a look at wasping. The term and trend are new, seeming to have originated in Ohio, when an inspector with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said people were using insect killer to get high.

“It is used by crystallizing wasp killer and combining it with meth,” Summit Sheriff’s Inspector Bill Holland told Ohio radio station WHBC.

So far, three people were hospitalized after ingesting the dangerous mix. And across the county, chemists, first responders and law enforcement are worried that since the trend has hit the internet, more people will try it.

Which, is why we’re here to remind people what wasp killer is intended for: it stuns and kills insects. Imagine what it can do to a human. Side effects of ingesting insect killer alone include seizures, possible paralysis, and in extreme cases, death.

And it’s important to note, there’s no antidote for ingesting insect killer.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND GANGS

Coming closer to home in Georgia, we flip to the topic of gangs. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released news of the alarming rate at which gangs are popping up in the state. This year, nearly 1,600 gangs or gang subsets live in Georgia, with children as young as 5 becoming members.

The National Gang Center said social media has become a favorite recruiting tool for teenage members.

“The Internet has provided a new medium for gang communication and promotion.,” a pamphlet on gang activity reads. “Social media Web sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and others allow gang-involved individuals to represent their gang affiliation, taunt others, post threats, and organize and promote their gangs’ activities. Social media escalates the potential for violence, since it reaches such a large audience.”

The NGC and GBI said it’s important for parents to pay attention to their child’s internet and social media usage, by keeping computers in common areas, limiting access to web sites and social media and learning children and teen’s online contacts.

NGC also said to watch for hands signs, children or teenagers withdrawing for family and long-time friends, unusual desire for secrecy, sudden negative attitudes about law enforcement and excessive worry for safety.

For more information, see the National Gang Center’s document.