Fentanyl Tainted Pills Bought on Social Media Cause Youth Drug Deaths to Soar

Teenagers and young adults are turning to Snapchat, TikTok and other social media apps to find Percocet, Xanax and other pills. The vast majority are laced with deadly doses of fentanyl. Although experimental drug use by teenagers in the United States has been dropping since 2010, their deaths from fentanyl have skyrocketed, from 253 in 2019 to 884 in 2021.

Supplies of tainted pills, crudely pressed by Mexican cartels with chemicals from China and India, have escalated commensurately. Fentanyl, faster and cheaper to produce than heroin and 50 times as potent, made for a highly addictive filler. Last year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration seized 20.4 million counterfeit pills, which experts estimate represent a small fraction of those produced. Truth be told, about 4 out of 10 pills contain lethal doses of fentanyl.

Today, there are drug sellers on every major social media platform, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok and emerging platforms like Discord and Telegram.

As long as our youth are on one of those platforms, they’re going to have the potential to be exposed to drug sellers. Let’s educate them so they don’t become a fatality!

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