DEA Administrator Says Social Media Companies Caused Fentanyl Crisis

Anne Milgram, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), recently said that Congress must pass legislation to crack down on social media companies not doing “enough” to prevent the sale of fentanyl on their platforms.

Milgram told NBC News host Chuck Todd that social media is what she calls “the last mile.”

“The border’s an important part of this conversation because most of the fentanyl that we see coming into the United States is coming in through the southwest border,” Milgram said.

“Social media is also a vital part of the conversation. It is what I call the last mile. Because what the cartels need – they’re selling the deadliest poison we’ve ever seen – they need that to … be able to expand and sell more, they need to be able to reach people at massive rates. And that’s what social media’s doing,” she added.

When asked if social media companies were working with federal law enforcement to try and stop the sale of fentanyl, Milgram said, “We have not, until recently, gotten nearly as much cooperation as we need.”

“We’ve been in conversations with the social media companies. The Deputy Attorney General convened all of us in April of this year and made it very clear, number one, that the companies have to comply with their own terms of service, which say, ‘This is illegal. You cannot be selling fake pills. You cannot be selling drugs on social media websites,’” Milgram said.

The DEA administrator added that law enforcement agencies must be able to retrieve information from social media companies.

Todd asked Milgram if the DEA does not have something that Congress could provide to help address the sale of fentanyl.

“So we talk a lot with Congress about social media. We talk a lot about the need for these platforms – essentially, one of the main ways we see Americans dying right now is through social media, the purchase of pills, fake pills on social media. So, again, if we’re after, how do we stop 110,000 Americans from dying?” Milgram replied.

Milgram said Congress was the “place to start” to address the fentanyl crisis in the U.S.