Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week called on Internet service providers and social media companies to more carefully monitor online sales of opioids.
“We find offers to purchase opioids all over social media and the Internet, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Google, Yahoo and Bing,” Gottlieb said at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta. Many illicit drugs that enter the U.S. are bought and sold online, including drugs laced with fentanyl, he said.
Gottlieb plans to meet with leaders of Internet companies and advocacy groups “to identify technology gaps and new solutions,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Such solutions might include search algorithms to alert potential buyers about treatment programs and the deadly risks of opioids.
Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a rise as well.