Oprah Winfrey Network host Dr. Laura Berman opened up to her public following on Instagram to share that her son, 16, had recently died of a fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl is a highly-potent synthetic opioid and, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is also largely responsible for over half of the 70,630 overdose deaths recorded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2019.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost once called the drug “a weapon of mass destruction.”
“My beautiful boy is gone,” Berman wrote in the Monday post. “16 years old. Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentinyl laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell) and he overdosed in his room. They do this because it hooks people even more and is good for business but It causes overdose and the kids don’t know what they are taking.”
She added, “My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing. I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them.”
A Snapchat spokesperson told People Magazine that the social media company is “committed to working together with law enforcement in this case and in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes.”
“We have zero tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs,” Snapchat added. “Using Snapchat for illegal purposes is firmly against our community guidelines and we enforce against these violations. We are constantly improving our technological capabilities to detect drug-related activity so that we can intervene proactively. … We have no higher priority than keeping Snapchat a safe environment and we will continue to invest in protecting our community.”
TheDarkWire.com requested additional information from Snapchat, asking if the company is investigating this incident and what specific actions it’s taking to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Snapchat didn’t respond to our request.
The Dark Wire, an Investigation Foundation produced the film “Not in Vein” in 2018, which dealt with the use of opioids and the dangers of fentanyl. Click here to watch the full documentary.