Mother says son overdosed on fentanyl after drug deal on Snapchat

The Donlon Report

(NewsNation Now) — A mother called on Snapchat to do more to protect teens after her son overdosed on fentanyl and died last year.

“It’s just a couple clicks away,” Amy Neville said on “The Donlon Report.” Her 14-year-old son, Alexander, died in 2021 after arranging a deal on the platform. “They just need to put in a few search terms, and it’ll take them right to a drug dealer.”

Her son thought he was taking oxycodone, but she said it was laced. He died of an overdose the night his parents started calling rehab centers to try to help him.

Snapchat says its drug sale detection systems have caught four-times the number of attempted deals in the past year as it did the year before. The company says involved users are banned and reported to police, but parents protested outside their headquarters saying they want to see more done to stop it.

Social Flow CEO Jim Anderson is skeptical that the social media companies would win a game of whack-a-mole against criminals on their platforms.

“These drug dealers, these predators are very creative and very ingenious,” Anderson said on “The Donlon Report.” “And they will take whatever tools we have and go find them. So I encourage Snapchat to continue to try to make progress, but of course, it’s not enough.”

Former prosecutor Pat Brady said the laws on the books already cover this ground, but believes a zero-tolerance war-on-drugs approach is the wrong way to go.

“I think we’ve got to concentrate on the manufacturers,” Brady said on “The Donlon Report.”

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