Found dead in children’s room: son of US author dies of overdose

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Found dead in the nursery
Son of US author dies of overdose

Opioid abuse in the US is a massive problem. US author Laura Berman is now making a tragic case public: Her 16-year-old son dies after consuming a prescription drug. This was apparently diluted with a dangerous opioid.

The American bestselling author Laura Berman mourns the loss of her son Samuel. The 16-year-old died of an opioid-supplemented prescription sedative. Berman made the incident public on Instagram: “My heart is broken and I don’t know how to get more air. I’m writing this so that more children don’t die.”

According to Berman’s account, the son bought a so-called Xanax tablet from a dealer on the social network Snapchat. The drug is used for anxiety disorders and has a calming effect. But this was apparently also mixed with the opiate fentanyl. The substance has a much stronger effect than heroin and repeatedly leads to overdoses, especially in the USA. “You do it because it makes people more dependent and it’s good for business,” Berman said.

Shortly before his death, Samuel asked his father for a cheeseburger, Berman told NBC News. “An hour later I went to his room to talk about an internship he was going to do in the summer. And there he was on the floor. Dead.” Samuel said he felt lonely from isolation in the corona pandemic and began experimenting with prescription pills that were offered on Snapchat.

Berman is a couples therapist and television presenter. She is known to a wider audience in the United States from her TV show “In the Bedrom with Dr. Laura Berman”. Her guide book “Quantum Love” became a bestseller in the United States.

Social networks used for drug trafficking

Chris Evans of the American anti-drug agency DEA told NBC NEWS that the tablets are often stretched with opioids like fentanyl without the users knowing. That always leads to deaths. The DEA recently removed more than 20,000 drug-related accounts on social networks, Evans said. According to NBC News, Snapchat has promised to have a zero tolerance policy on drug trafficking on its platform. “We work with the judicial authorities.”

The corona pandemic has actually led to an increase in the number of drug deaths in the United States. In the twelve-month evaluation period up to May, there were more than 81,000 drug deaths, the CDC announced in December. That is the highest number that has ever been recorded for a twelve-month period.

Since 1999, 500,000 people have died from opioid overdoses in the United States. Pharmaceutical companies are accused of throwing additional opioids on the market. The health authority particularly pointed out the dangers of fentanyl.

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