Laura Berman says her son died of overdose after drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat


“My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old,” Berman posted on Instagram about Samuel Berman Chapman’s death. “Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentinyl (sic) laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell) and he overdosed in his room. They do this because it hooks people even more and is good for business but it causes overdose and the kids don’t know what they are taking.”

“My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing,” she added. “I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them.”

CNN spoke with Samuel Chapman, Laura’s husband and father to their three children.

He said their youngest son found Samuel in his room lying on his back “… and a classic fentanyl death pose, where … their breathing slows down so much their body starts convulsing,” Chapman described.

Samuel had experimented with marijuana before, Chapman said, and they were actively drug testing him and he was passing the tests.

“There’s never been a hard drug in our house that we were aware of, until this Snapchat dealer met my son online,” he said.

CDC warns of a 'substantial increase' in fatal drug overdoses coinciding with the Covid-19 pandemic

Santa Monica police and paramedics responded to the home Sunday evening.

There, they found a minor who was unconscious and not breathing, police said, and despite their efforts, the teen died on the scene.

Police said they believe prescription drug use was involved and added the investigation is ongoing.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner is investigating the death, spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.

Snapchat spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said in an emailed statement to CNN that the company’s deepest sympathies are with the family.

“We are committed to working together with law enforcement in this case and in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes. We have zero tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs,” Racusen said.

Using Snapchat for illegal purposes is against the company’s community guidelines and “we enforce against these violations,” the spokeswoman added.

“We are constantly improving our technological capabilities to detect drug-related activity so that we can intervene proactively. If you witness illegal behavior on Snapchat, please use our in-app tools to report it quickly and confidentially, so we can take action,” Racusen said. “We have no higher priority than keeping Snapchat a safe environment and we will continue to invest in protecting our community.”

Chapman remembers his son as a “beautiful soul.”

“He had plans and dreams. He was a good student and a great friend to his fellow students,” Chapman said.

Berman headlined “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and hosts “The Language of Love” podcast.



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