by Christopher Dale


Feb. 16, 2021 On Sunday, February 7, 16-year-old Samuel Chapman asked his father for a cheeseburger, then went to his room to play video games. An hour later his mother – Dr. Laura Berman, relationship therapist and host of In the Bedroom on the Oprah Winfrey Network – went into Samuel’s room to discuss a planned summer internship. She found her son lying on the floor. He was dead. Dr. Berman broke the tragic news the next day, via Instagram. “A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentinyl (sic) laced Xanax and he overdosed…” she wrote. “They do this because it hooks people even more and is good for business, but it causes overdose and the kids don’t know what they are taking.” 

Samuel had apparently procured the illicit drug using Snapchat, a social media and messaging platform whose signature feature is its digital “burn after reading” functionality. Typically, messages sent via Snapchat are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible to a recipient – and, more importantly in this case, law enforcement officials or a minor’s unsuspecting parents. Snapchat has an estimated 200 million daily users. By all indications, Samuel was not an addict but merely a bored, curious teenager experimenting. He’d been caught smoking marijuana a few times – his parents had even been administering drug tests, which he’d been passing. So it’s safe to say that Samuel buying hard drugs online wasn’t a regular thing.”



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