Oprah’s Relationship Expert Dr. Laura Berman’s 16-year-old son Samuel dies from overdose
OWN TV host Dr. Laura Berman is mourning the death of her 16-year-old son.
The relationship and intimacy therapist confirmed to USA TODAY Monday that her teen son Samuel died on Sunday from an accidental overdose of fentanyl laced Xanax at their family home in Santa Monica, California.
“Our son Sammy was a beautiful soul who left us way too soon,” Berman said in a statement provided by her husband, Samuel Chapman. “Our hearts are broken for ourselves and for all the other children that are suffering during this pandemic.”
Berman first shared the news of her son’s death on Instagram Sunday, writing that her son got “the drugs delivered to the house” in an “experimentation gone bad.”
“My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old,” the host of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” captioned a picture of herself embracing her smiling son. “My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing.”
Berman said her son got his hands on the unknowingly fatal drug through Snapchat and warned other parents to “watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially.”
“A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentinyl (sic) laced Xanax and he overdosed in his room,” Berman 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.”
Berman remembered her son as a “straight A student” who was “getting ready for college.” She added, “I post this now only so that not one more kid dies.”
On her Instagram Story, Berman doubled down on her parental advisory, writing, “If you have teens, please read this and get them off Snapchat ASAP! This is a trend now and overdoses amongst teens is on the rise.”
In her statement to USA TODAY, Berman implored several social media platforms to join in the investigation of Samuel’s death.
“We call on Snapchat and Twitter to help the Santa Monica Police with their investigation, which according to the police is something the big technology companies regularly refuse to do,” Berman wrote. “And we encourage every parent to manage their children’s social media as closely as possible.”Get the Coronavirus Watch newsletter in your inbox.
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On Monday, Snapchat told USA TODAY that their platform has “zero tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs” or other “illegal activities,”.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Samuel Berman Chapman and we are heartbroken by his passing,” the company said in a statement. “We have no higher priority than keeping Snapchat a safe environment and we will continue to invest in protecting our community.”