Snapchat drug dealing a ‘growing threat’

A 14-year-old boy was able to buy a Class A drug on a popular social media platform, it has been revealed.

Undercover for the BBC, the teenager ordered two grams of ecstasy (MDMA) on Snapchat. A BBC reporter picked up the drug just minutes later.

Elsewhere on the platform, an advert invited users to enter a raffle to win ecstasy with a street value of up to £1,400, if they promoted the dealer’s account.


Class A drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, carry a prison sentence of up to seven years for possession.

But multiple videos promoting Class A drug sales were found on Snapchat, as well as daily adverts sent through private messages.

The National Crime Agency said the problem is “alarming” and branded it a “growing threat”.


Snapchat did not block the transaction, but said it encouraged users to report illegal activity. Over 60 per cent of 13-34 year olds use the social media app in the UK, according to the BBC.

Harry Shapiro, director of DrugWise, said: “There’s no way you can varnish the truth about this, the worst that can happen to young people who consume a two gram bag of MDMA is they run the risk of dying. It’s as simple as that.”

The founder of Childline, Esther Rantzen, called the situation “shocking”.


Last year, Carson Price, aged 13, died after taking “Donkey Kong”, an ecstasy pill sold to him via Snapchat for only a few pounds.

In October, the UK’s four children commissioners warned that parents are unaware of children’s easy access to the sale of Class A drugs.

Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “The vast majority of parents and adults would be hugely shocked at the availability of really dangerous, strong, Class A drugs to very young children”.

“I think we’re all probably living in ignorance.”