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'Shattered:' TV Host's Son Dies of Drugs Ordered on Snapchat

Dr. Laura Berman hopes speaking out will prevent another child's death
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2021 8:36 AM CST

(Newser) – Sex and relationship therapist Dr. Laura Berman, an OWN TV host, says she discovered her 16-year-old son's lifeless body Sunday following an overdose with drugs he purchased on Snapchat. "My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old. Sheltering at home," Berman writes of Samuel Berman Chapman on Instagram, noting the straight-A student was preparing for college, per CBS Los Angeles. "My heart is completely shattered." She notes a drug dealer "connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentanyl laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell)." She adds her son had the drugs delivered to the house and overdosed in his room. "I post this now only so that not one more kid dies," she writes. "We watched him so closely." Drug Enforcement Agency acting administrator Chris Evans tells Today that "the lethality of one pill is something that we haven't seen before."

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Speaking to Today, Berman says a friend of Samuel sent her a screenshot of an ad for drugs on Snapchat, which looked like a menu. "Each different drug had a different color the way a kid would love to see it," adds Samuel's father, also named Samuel Chapman. Both parents say their son had been feeling isolated during the pandemic, though they had no idea he was experimenting with prescription pills. "Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially," Berman writes. "That's how they get them." Snapchat shared its "deepest sympathies" adding it is committed to working with law enforcement "in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes," per People. However, Berman says police have little hope of catching the dealer because social networks shut down accounts without identifying the owner, who often just creates a new account. (Read more drug overdose stories.)

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