Dr. Laura Berman’s son Sammy was an amazing kid — sweet, funny, curious, an A student. And like all parents, Dr. Berman and her husband Sam Chapman worked hard to keep him away from dangerous people and places. But, like most parents, they had no idea that drug dealers were preying on our children on Snapchat and other social media platforms. And they had no idea illegal, untested drugs could be delivered to a house as easily as a pizza.
On February 7, 2021, an online drug dealer reached out to Sammy on Snapchat and delivered drugs to him at his home. He snuck out after his parents were asleep to meet the dealer, who gave him what turned out to be a lethal dose of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid twice as addictive as heroin, 100 times more powerful than morphine — and fatal even in microscopic doses. Sammy had no idea he was taking it.
As a result, Laura and Sam experienced every parent’s worst pain —they lost their son.
Sammy is one of the thousands of young victims of social media-related dangers this year. And drugs are one of the most serious and fastest-growing of those threats. The ease with which our children can connect with shady drug dealers on social media has contributed to the highest ever recorded number of drug overdose and poisoning deaths in history devastating families across the world. We are facing a crisis and need to do more to protect our children.
You can help. As the leader in protecting families from the dangers of social media, the Organization for Social Media Safety is fighting to end the distribution of drugs to children via social media. Through advocacy, education, and technology development, we help protect your family against all social media-related dangers. Your generous support will immediately fund our most urgent efforts to protect children from the dangers of social media:
- Teaching critical social media safety skills at schools across the country struggling with social media-related substance abuse, cyberbullying, and human trafficking;
- Passing groundbreaking legislation at the state and federal levels to protect children from the dangers of social media and irresponsible social media platforms.
- Developing better and more affordable technology to help parents protect their children from social media-related dangers.
Together, we can protect so many families from tragedy by sharing Sammy’s story.