West Virginia pushes social media companies to take action to stop fentanyl growth

“The body bags are lining up.”

That’s the message West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has delivered to social media companies, urging them to take action and do their part to stop drug traffickers from using their platforms to sell fentanyl.

The Attorney General wrote letters to the CEOs of Meta Platforms (Facebook), Twitter, Snap, Pintrest, TikTok, Discord and Telegram.

West Virginia says that according to published reports, drug traffickers are increasingly using social media platforms to prey on teens.

“We must all do our part to get rid of this threat that has afflicted not just West Virginia, but the entire nation, resulting in countless deaths and ripped lives,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “As we all know, social media like Facebook and Twitter are catalysts for interaction and modern camaraderie, and teens often use these platforms to connect with each other and share their deepest feelings.

“It’s time for these social media giants to use their power and stop drug traffickers from destroying more lives.”

And the numbers don’t lie: the United States recorded 107,622 drug-related deaths in 2021, a 15% increase of 13,967 from 93,655 in 2020. Almost all of the increase is due to fentanyl. West Virginia recorded 1,194 deaths linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in 2021, up 10% from 1,083 in 2020.

The attorney general asked social media companies to “provide my office with detailed information about the steps you have taken and will take to combat drug trafficking.”

“When it comes to the dangers of fentanyl, we can’t fail,” Attorney General Morrisey said.

Read copies of the letters at: https://bit.ly/3TupEfp.

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