Snapchat has started implementing security measures to prevent the trade of fentanyl within the platform environment. The change comes after an investigation into the app’s use to distribute drugs.
The drug is widely used for severe pain relief, anesthesia follow-up and postoperative care, but it was transformed into an opioid especially in the United States. When consumed without medical supervision, the drug can cause death by poisoning or overdose — a situation that has been known for some years by the country’s authorities.
From now on, anyone looking for the term on the platform will be directed to a series of warnings about the risks of consuming the drug, including data from public agencies in the country. In the case of surveys carried out by teenagers, parents can be advised to take some preventive action.
In addition, the company will reinforce the ban on people who offer fentanyl on the platform, a practice that has become quite common on the network. To mask the sale and make the purchase legal, the prescription is often disguised as other pain medications, such as Vicodin.
The new measures were implemented after an NBC News report that exposed the problem. According to the article, there are already several cases of teenagers who had serious health problems or died after using fentanyl as a recreational drug.
In all cases, it was possible to purchase it by communicating with the supplier on Snapchat without any major problems. According to the company, since the first half of 2021 it has taken more energetic actions by reducing the reach of posts on the topic and eliminating 260% more publications than in previous periods.