What is the Link Between Snapchat and Substance Abuse?
How do Snapchat and Substance Abuse Relate to Each Other?
Statista notes that, as of Q4 of 2020, there were 265 million users on Snapchat daily.
The majority of those users are teens and young adults.
While older people tend to gravitate towards Facebook, Twitter, and the established social media platforms, Snapchat is where younger adults and teeners, and even kids, go to explore the online world.
However, Snapchat carries as much of a threat to safety as other social platforms.
While they already have to worry about data leaks and privacy concerns, they also have to worry about Snapchat and substance abuse as a result of a new storefront for drug dealers on the platform.
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Snapchat Drug Deal Leads to Death of Child
Superbowl Sunday usually brings heartbreak for the losing team, but there was a different sort of heartbreak in Dr. Laura Berman and Sam Chapman’s home.
Their 16-year-old son died from an overdose of drugs that were sold on Snapchat by a local dealer. Sammy, her son, took some fentanyl-laced Xanax sold to him through the online platform. His parents found him unresponsive in his room and called paramedics. They spent close to 30 minutes trying to resuscitate him, to no avail.
Now, doctors are warning parents about the potential dangers of Snapchat and substance abuse, and the platform’s use by drug dealers to target kids.
A Call for Monitoring Accounts
Dr. Berman, despite her heartbreak over her child’s death, proposed a reasonable solution that the app company should consider.
She asked that parents be allowed to access their children’s snaps and that they not disappear as is typical for the platform. She also called for the medium to cooperate with law enforcement to help track down dealers and shut them down permanently.
To the company’s merits, they seem to be aiding Santa Monica police’s search for Sammy’s drug dealer. Their press statement reaffirms they are dedicated to working with law enforcement on this case.
They went on to call for those who witness illegal behavior online to report it to the authorities immediately.
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Social Media and Drugs
Drugs eventually make their way onto social media because it’s an easy way for dealers to contact buyers.
Snapchat is only the latest trend in online drug dealing, but it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last. Most drug dealers run their operations under the covert shadow of the Dark Web.
However, with dealers now using social media apps like Snapchat, the chance of them making their way to kids in order to sell them drugs is much higher. Being the majority of users on these platforms, kids are the prime targets for dealers that use it to move their product. In addition, this also leads to a higher risk of drug rehab for these kids down the road.
The Risks Associated with Snapchat and Substance Abuse for Teens
Drugs can be devastating to a teenager.
Their bodies develop at a rapid rate, but their mental development is usually much slower. Brain development in teens usually sees the pleasure centers become advanced ahead of the risk and decision-making centers.
As a result, the decision to take drugs usually is poorly-thought-out, especially in terms of consequences. Teenagers are well-known for taking risks, and today’s medical advances have managed to save them from themselves countless times.
However, drug addiction is a risk that may lead to a long-term debilitating spiral into debt, poverty, and potentially crime.
Drug use can severely hamper brain development in teenagers and lead to mental health problems as they become adults.
Substance abuse can impact the teenage brain by:
- Reducing their ability to experience pleasure from other activities
- Damaging connections within their brains and interfering with the body’s chemical neurotransmitters
- Destroying memory centers
- Building up expectations for unhealthy behaviors and creating a harmful positive feedback loop
- Impacting opportunities at a time of heightened potential
- Damaging a person’s perceptual development
These physical impacts on the teen also come with social and professional consequences if caught using the substance.
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Snapchat does need to spend more time monitoring its platform to ensure that drug dealers don’t use it for marketing.
However, based on the sheer number of users on the forum, the idea that it could police every single one of them is ludicrous.
While the platform could offer parents more control over their children’s accounts, it’s more likely to lead to younger users seeing the platform as undesirable and moving elsewhere.
The most likely method of avoiding this issue is to approach teens on their own terms. Be honest with them and trust their judgment. The link between Snapchat and drug dealers is unquestionable, but removing Snapchat from the equation will see the dealers finding a new way to market their product.
Do you want treatment for becoming associated with the link between Snapchat and substance abuse but are worried about how you can pay for it?
We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.
We work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.
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How to Get Help
Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction?
At Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to give up an addiction because, with long-term use, the mind is continuously remembering the euphoric feelings.
Our dedicated team will help you customize a treatment plan to rediscover natural euphoria.
Our goal is for you to leave Emerald Isle Health & Recovery with mental fortitude and coping skills to maintain lifelong sobriety.
Call Emerald Isle Health & Recovery to schedule an appointment.
We challenge you to make a fresh start with us today.
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