Dr. Laura Berman Shares Warning About Dangers of Social Media Following 16-Year-Old Son's Fatal Overdose
By Zach Seemayer
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Dr. Laura Berman and her husband, Samuel Chapman, are opening up about their son's tragic death. The heartbroken parents expressed their grief and anger over their 16-year-old's fatal drug overdose on the Today show on Tuesday.
Berman shared on Instagram on Sunday that her son, Sammy, died after overdosing on Fentanyl-laced Xanax which he bought from a dealer who contacted him over Snapchat.
As Berman -- who hosts In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman on the OWN TV network -- said on Today, her entire reason for going public with her story was to possibly prevent other parents from losing their children to the dangers posed by some social media platforms.
"All I was thinking about is that this couldn't happen again," she shared. "I was so furious and helpless."
According to Berman, their son -- who was sheltering at home with his parents amid the coronavirus pandemic -- asked his father for food just an hour before his mother came into his room to find him dead.
"I went into his room because we'd been talking about an internship for the summer that he wanted to do, and he was on the floor, gone," Berman said.
According to the CDC, Fentanyl, a rapid-acting opioid, is "estimated to be 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin," making it a frequent drug abused by addicts and used by dealers to hook customers.
Berman said that she hopes coming forward and being open with her family's painful tragedy will open other people's eyes to the dangers that potentially lurk in their homes.
"When they see our son and can relate to him and see what happened to him, maybe it will sink in," Berman said. "And if it helps one kid, it's worth it."
"I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house," she wrote. "Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them."
Berman's post was met with an outpouring of condolences, love and support from her fans, many of whom opened up about their own experiences.
A spokesperson for Snapchat released a statement to E! News addressing Berman's loss: "Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Samuel Berman Chapman and we are heartbroken by his passing. We are committed to working together with law enforcement in this case and in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes. We have zero tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs."