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Research on Dangers of Counterfeit Drugs and Fentanyl among Teens and Young Adults


Snap is committed to doing our part to fight the growing fentanyl epidemic on our platform and helping raise awareness with young people. This research was commissioned from Morning Consult to help inform Snap's in-app educational awareness resources, building on an initial set of public service announcements we launched earlier this summer with Song for Charlie, a national nonprofit focused on raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. In addition to helping guide our own work, Snap is releasing the findings of this research to help advance the public's knowledge of and dialogue surrounding counterfeit pills and fentanyl, especially as it relates to young people.

Today, Snap is building on the company’s efforts by launching new in-app resources developed from the findings of this research. In the coming months, Snap will continue expanding on this campaign with additional educational resources and partners. These efforts are supported by operational improvements Snap has been making to better prevent, detect, and combat the drug-related activity on Snapchat.

Key Research Findings

  1. Young Americans face significant mental health challenges connected to high levels of stress.

  2. Mental health challenges are complicated by stigma surrounding mental health and lack of comfort seeking help from parents, school resources, or medical professionals.

  3. Young people are seeking coping strategies, and, unfortunately, many are turning to or considering prescription drugs without a prescription.

  4. Young people broadly lack information about the extent to which fentanyl is now endemic in the illicit prescription drug supply, along with the extraordinary danger and deadliness of fentanyl.


This research was commissioned by Snap and executed by Morning Consult. Interviews were conducted online between July 15-July 29, 2021, among a nationwide sample of 1,449 Americans aged 13-24. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Quotas and weights were used to ensure the national demographic representation among this age cohort. In this report, references to Gen Z include all respondents ages 13-24, we defined the Teen audience as ages 13-17 and Young Adults as ages 18-24. Parental consent was required for minors between the ages of 13-17 before participation in the survey.

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