Television host and relationship expert Laura Berman is warning parents about the dangers of social media and drug use. (Photo Courtesy: Laura Berman's Facebook)

Television host and relationship expert Laura Berman is warning parents about the dangers of social media and drug use after the death of her teenage son at their Santa Monica home last Sunday.

On February 7, 2021 at or about 4:24 p.m., Santa Monica Police Officers along with Fire Paramedics responded to a residence in the area of the 1000 block of Yale Street regarding a minor that was unconscious and not breathing. Despite paramedic’s efforts, the minor was pronounced a short time after,” SMPD Lt. Rudy Flores said in a news release that stated a preliminary investigation leads SMPD to believe prescription drug use may have been involved.

But Berman, who recently spoke about the news in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy in the future, confirmed on social media that drug use was certainly the cause of her son’s death.

“My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old. Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentinyl laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell) and he overdosed in his room,” Berman said on Instagram Sunday. “We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house.”

Berman, who is a prominent relationship expert and sex therapist, is advising parents to monitor their childrens’ social media activity to prevent similar tragedies in their own homes.

“There is a rash of kids like ours who, you know, are home bored during the pandemic,” she said in an interview with NBC News. And they’re trying to entertain themselves.

“(Dealers) 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. My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing. I post this now only so that not one more kid dies,” Berman added on her Instagram. “Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them.”

Snapchat officials said the company is working with local authorities. And SMPD’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office are working on parallel investigations, according to Flores, who said, there is no additional information available at this time but residents are strongly encouraged to contact Criminal Investigations Detective S. Pollnow at 310-458-8455 or Police Dispatch at 310-458-8491 if they have any tips to share.

Berman has also created a Facebook group for parents who have lost a child to drug addiction or those who wish to discuss the topic with others.

More information is available online at facebook.com/groups/parentsunitedagainstdrugadditctiondeath

Brennon@smdp.com