National Fentanyl Awareness Day: Continuing Our Efforts to Combat the U.S. Fentanyl Crisis

May 9, 2023

Snap is proud to serve as a Founding Partner of National Fentanyl Awareness Day and, on this occasion, redouble our efforts to eradicate drug sales on our platform and educate our community on the dangers of fentanyl. We thank our partners across law enforcement, safety organizations, and parent groups, in particular, Song for Charlie, who are dedicated to fighting this devastating epidemic that has taken the lives of so many.

As we mark a somber second annual National Fentanyl Awareness Day, we wanted to provide our community with an update on our ongoing work. 

  • Today, we are launching an educational tool within Snapchat in the form of a national Lens and Filter, highlighting the dangers of fentanyl. We will also launch an in-app public service announcement to share key facts about fentanyl with young people on Snapchat. In addition, National Fentanyl Awareness Day is hosting a series of virtual webinars with issue-area experts to reach teens, young adults, parents, advocates, and policymakers interested in learning more about the illicit fentanyl crisis. All sessions are open to the public, and we encourage you to learn more about these panels here.

  • We are continuing to grow our support for law enforcement organizations and their investigations to bring drug dealers to justice. As part of this work, we have been working to help law enforcement officials learn more about how Snapchat works, how we can serve as a resource for them, and how to best submit requests for data. For example, last December, more than 3,000 U.S. law enforcement officers attended our second annual U.S. Law Enforcement Summit and learned more about how we work together. Additionally, in order to help ensure that law enforcement can effectively use legal processes to access the data they need for the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity, we retain violating content for an extended period even after an account has been removed from the platform.

  • To further strengthen the collaboration between tech companies and law enforcement, we have been working with Senators Roger Marshall and Jeanne Shaheen on bipartisan legislation focused on combating the fentanyl epidemic, The Cooper Davis Act. This bill creates a legal framework for tech companies to share information about lethal drugs with law enforcement and paves the way for even greater cooperation and data sharing between the public and private sectors to combat fentanyl. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on this critical legislation.

  • Last year, we began a pilot program with Meta to identify patterns and signs of illicit drug-related content and activity across our platforms. Since drug dealers exploit many different services, sharing patterns and signals enables us to bolster our proactive detection efforts in finding and removing illicit drug content and dealer accounts. As the program develops, we hope to add other  tech companies to help protect people and combat this industry-wide issue.

  • We teamed up with the Ad Council last year on an unprecedented national public awareness campaign focused on educating teens on the dangers of fentanyl: Real Deal on Fentanyl. Recently, we added the campaign’s videos to our in-app drug education portal, Heads Up. These resources provide young Americans with information about the dangers of counterfeit pills and the importance of naloxone as a life-saving medication. We are also pushing out the campaign’s PSAs to teens and young adults on Snapchat, and we will launch a new Lens in the coming weeks that will specifically reach high school- and college-aged students.

  • In an effort to provide timely educational content on the dangers of drugs, we will add resources from the CDC’s Stop Overdose campaign that cover topics like polysubstance use and reducing stigma around substance use disorders. We are also collaborating with Song for Charlie on new content that will cover fentanyl fact-checking and myth-busting and peer-to-peer education tips. 

Protecting the Snapchat community is vitally important to us. While we have made progress, we believe we have an opportunity to further educate our users on the dangers of fentanyl and will continue to invest heavily in efforts to detect and remove lethal drug content. A societal problem like fentanyl and counterfeit pills requires a societal solution, and we are honored to work collaboratively with our community, parents and families, law enforcement, and technology companies to make a difference. 

 – Jennifer Stout, VP of Global Public Policy at Snap & Member of the National Fentanyl Awareness Day Advisory Council 

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