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. Your generous support will immediately fund our effort to save lives by nationally distributing a Public Service Announcement with a desperately needed warning to parents from Dr. Berman about the dangers of social media and drugs, including Fentanyl poisoning. Together, we can protect so many families from tragedy by sharing Sammy’s story.