Top Justice Department official calls on social media firms to do extra as teenagers die from fentanyl


Landen Hausman, a highschool sophomore, died in January after shopping for fentanyl-laced Percocet by means of a seller on social media. His household discovered him collapsed on the lavatory flooring and tried to revive him with CPR, however it was too late. 

“Sometimes with fentanyl you don’t get a second chance,” his father Marc Hausman informed CBS News. 

Hausman stated his son most likely didn’t acknowledge that counterfeit Percocet could possibly be laced with fentanyl. 

“He basically bought two of these counterfeit Percocet pills,” Hausman stated. “He took one. One killed him. We found the other one [in his bedroom].” 

Sadly, Landen’s story is all too widespread. Last yr, greater than 100,000 Americans died from fentanyl — extra deaths than there have been of Americans killed within the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq mixed. Deaths amongst teenagers have greater than tripled since 2019. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration says it’s investigating greater than 120 instances that contain social media. The company has issued a warning about emoji code language dealers use to focus on younger consumers. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who oversees the DEA, says fentanyl is the company’s prime precedence. 

“No longer are we talking about meeting on the street and making that connection,” Monaco informed CBS News. “The dealer is in your kid’s pocket along with the phone.” 

Monaco stated many who die “are unsuspecting users thinking they’re getting one thing and they’re getting something else in the form of fentanyl.” 

“So those really that’s not actually an overdose,” she stated. “That’s a poisoning.” 

Monaco additionally stated the Justice Department is pushing social media firms to crack down on sellers, calling the disaster “a national security issue, “a public security problem” and “a public well being problem.” 

“We’re asking them to do extra,” she said. “They have to do extra. They must be policing their platforms. … They want to make use of, fairly frankly, the identical instruments and the expertise that enables them to exquisitely serve up these advertisements for all kinds of issues that we’re shopping for on-line and establish these drug sellers and getting them off.” 

The dealer who sold the fake Percocet to Landen is facing federal charges, but for Hausman, just one arrest isn’t enough. 

“I do not know who this seller is. I actually do not care,” he said. “So for me, justice is, I can not return and alter what occurred. But what I can do is attempt to do the whole lot doable so perhaps this does not occur to another person.” 


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