Is social media helping fuel drug problems?

Morning In America

(NewsNation Now) — Deaths due to drug overdoses in the U.S. rose 30 percent last year, and federal officials say drug dealing on social media platforms is playing a dangerous role.

Morning in America’s Ileana Diaz reported the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning of dangerous fake pills being sold through these apps, some of which contain fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more powerful than heroin that’s been linked to overdose deaths nationwide.

The DEA says TikTok and Snapchat aren’t doing enough to stop drug dealing through their apps and it wants to see more enforcement and accountability. For their part, social media companies say they’re using algorithms and other monitoring tools to crack down on the illegal trade, but the DEA says the drugs are still easy to find.

On Monday, the DEA issued a public safety alert warning about the increase in fake prescription pills being sold. May dealers are targeting young adults and kids on TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook and even YouTube.

The pills they sell look like oxycodone, Adderall and Percocet, but they’re actually methamphetamine or fentanyl. DEA agents say they’ve recovered more than 9.5 million pills so far this year, which is more than the previous two years combined.

It remains to be seen whether the measures taken by the social media companies will be enough, or if federal enforcement will be necessary.

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