Social Networking –
September 13, 2018 – Instagram says people are using the platform’s hashtags to find addiction support and communities as well as illegal drugs. So, in response, the company is rolling out a pop-up today that’ll provide users with drug addiction resources if they search certain hashtags, like “opioid.” The user can then opt to get support resources that Instagram developed with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and the Partnership for Drug Free Kids. There will also be advice for family and friends of people with substance abuse problems.
“The opioid epidemic is an issue that affects millions of people, and we want to use our platform to offer resources to those who need it — in the places where they are seeking help. This is an important step for us in our ongoing commitment to make Instagram the kindest, safest social network,” said Karina Newton, Instagram’s head of public policy. The pop-up message will be added to more hashtags related to opioid, prescription, or illegal drugs over time, according to Instagram. Once a user clicks on the “Get help” option, they will be redirected to an information page. The page lists services and hotlines, including the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline, as well as SAMHSA’s treatment facility locator.