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Snapchat said on Thursday that it is rolling out new tools to crack down on the sale of illegal and deadly counterfeit pills on the platform, a move issued a week after the US Drug Enforcement Administration issued it. public safety alert Warning of the spread of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine on social media sites.

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one in blog postSnapchat said it has developed an in-app tool called “Heads Up” that will educate users about the dangers of drugs when they search for drug-related keywords.

The education portal will include content from groups such as Songs for Charlie, Shatterproof, and the Substance Abuse, Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The company also claims that it has improved its automated systems for detecting illegal drug sales on the platform and that the company has recruited more people to respond to law enforcement requests for data during criminal investigations. .

The company acknowledged that it has heard “devastating stories” from families, including cases where fentanyl-laced pills were purchased from drug dealers on Snapchat.

A spokesperson for Snap Inc. Businesshala The tools launched on Thursday will be available only in the US, but the company plans to expand it internationally soon with local content from various countries.

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“We are saddened that drugs have taken lives of people in our community. We deeply appreciate the generosity and kindness of the families who have come forward to share their stories, collaborate and hold us accountable for making progress,” the company added in its statement.

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Last week, the US DEA issued a public safety warning about a sharp increase in the availability of counterfeit prescription pills containing the opioid fentanyl and the drug methamphetamine. DEA administrator Anne Milgram appeared on the NBC Today show last week, where she helped apps like Snapchat and TikTok connect teens and young adults with drug dealers. Milgram said the platforms were “not doing enough” to solve the problem and called the issue a “national crisis”.

Snap launches in-app tool on drug dangers after fentanyl deaths (Reuters)

‘May 1 shot’: officials warn about counterfeit prescription drugs with fentanyl (NBC)