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WASHINGTON — Facebook users attempting to purchase opioids or seeking out addiction treatment will be instead be redirected to information about a federal crisis help line, the company announced Tuesday, a major step for an industry leader facing pressure to more aggressively police illicit drug sales on its platform.

The announcement comes a week before an “opioids summit” convened by the Food and Drug Administration to get Facebook and other tech companies, including Twitter and Google, to take additional measures to help curb the nation’s opioid crisis.

The Facebook feature, the company said, is the result of months of work with a policy team largely focused on how the company can address the opioid epidemic — work that it said predates FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s focus on tech companies’ role in opioids issues.


Kevin Martin, who leads Facebook’s operation in Washington, announced the new feature at a Tuesday event, and the company recently added Avra Siegel, an Obama administration veteran, to lead the opioids policy initiative.

Siegel said the redirect feature — which will go live at some point Tuesday — was specific to Facebook, but planned in consultation with the recovery advocacy group Facing Addiction and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Greg Williams, the vice president at Facing Addiction, said Facebook aimed to seize on moments of vulnerability — searches either for treatment or for opportunities to purchase illicit drugs — to nudge individuals with opioid use disorder toward treatment.

Facebook’s efforts to stem the opioid epidemic come as part of a broader conversation about how much responsibility tech companies bear for illicit activity to take place on their platforms.

  • The death rate might be an indicator, that these ill advised strategies are clearly not working. This is a mere publicity stunt for these companies. Facebook generously allowed forums, with public figures to address the “Opiate Epidemic.” They used these forums, patient groups, recovery groups, and family discussion groups to harvest their data. The data was sold to marketers, who peddled herbal cures, bogus treatment centers, new age cures, and other nonsense.
    The Data that Facebook took under nefarious purposes, was used to confuse and misinform. No one asked why these sites wanted people to “tell their stories.” Those stories resulted in exposing themselves to more marketing. Spreading Awareness is another marketing hoax, none of it has resulted in any Fact Based policy discussion.
    This is choreographed to give these companies a nice PR Boost, nothing more. It looks like they are doing everything but looking at how weaponized marketing and bad healthcare, created this “Crisis” in the first place. These companies allowed “Fake News” to proliferate because it was profitable. They used their data collection capabilities to overthrow governments, deceive and mislead people.
    These companies have been harvesting health related data for years, only to sell it it the highest bidders. Facts are just boring, the marketers are going underground. The Pharma Industry made billions in profit, not only selling the opiates but selling the “Cures.” The tech companies came up with a counter narrative, for Pharma, peddling pseudo science, to muddy the waters. The Facts were not available on Facebook, or the other platforms, because fear is a great marketing tool.

  • This will only push patients to local drug dealers and unknown substances. Kingman Arizona a warning in the local newspaper tells people to watch for counterfeit Xanax tablets that contain cyclopropyl fentanyl, methamphetamine and FUB-AKB48, a synthetic cannabinoid.
    When a pain patient see their physician and receives a prescription for pain medications, they fill it at the local pharmacy where the pharmacists can answer any questions.

    When pain patient’s physician cuts doses without medical justification and without the patients consent, it leaves the patient few choices.

    When a pain patient is forced to the street they turn to drug dealers who sell drugs with God only knows what in them.

    The Kingman Daily Miner Newspaper had this warning July26th 2018.
    KINGMAN – According to a warning from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, people should be on the lookout for counterfeit Xanax tablets containing cyclopropyl fentanyl, methamphetamine and FUB-AKB48, a synthetic cannabinoid.

    The prohibition of opioids for long time pain patients with years of medical records and imaging is wrong. NO Patient should ever be forced into invasive procedures and surgeries for lack of pain medications.

    This is one of the unintended consequences of recent changes requiring dose reductions for pain patients.

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