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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Relatives of fentanyl victims urge Snapchat to do more to prevent illegal drug sales

About 70 parents, siblings, friends and relatives marched from Santa Monica’s Clover Park to the headquarters of SnapChat to demand that the social network, popular with teens and young adults, do more to stop illegal drug sales through Appendix.

Almost all the protesters had the same sad story. They had a son, cousin, and friend who inadvertently ingested fentanyl — a deadly synthetic opiate that has caused an epidemic of accidental drug overdose deaths — after buying drugs on Snapchat.

The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2021 that 93,000 deaths in 2020 were opioid-related, and that 70% were killed by fentanyl, mostly due to counterfeit opioids and tainted drugs.

Amy Neville, founder of the Alexander Neville Foundation, named after her 14-year-old son who she says died from fentanyl posted on SnapChat, urged the company to allow a third-party review of the company’s business practices.

This week, Snap Inc. officials. said the company had taken steps to crack down on the sale of drugs on its website.

“Late last year, the CDC announced that more than 100,000 people had died from drug overdoses in the US over a 12-month period, with fentanyl being the primary cause of this surge,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. “This stunning data hits the mark. We recognize the terrible loss of life that the opioid epidemic is taking across the county and the impact of fentanyl and counterfeit drugs (often disguised as counterfeit prescription drugs) especially on young people and their families.”

The company said its artificial intelligence technology and Snapchat users are detecting more drug-related content, so people who post may be blocked and prevented from creating new accounts.

However, Friday’s protesters said the company hadn’t done enough. They say they won’t rest until the facility takes extra security measures and makes its policies and practices more transparent.

Jaime Puerta, founder of VOID (@victimsofillicitdrugs), who said he lost his 16-year-old son to an accidental fentanyl overdose, vowed to keep fighting.

“Their will is no stronger than the will of a grieving parent,” he said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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