Instagram now offers help and advice when users search drug-related tags

Instagram now offers help and advice when users search drug-related tags

Instagram has launched a new feature intended to help those struggling with substance abuse. 

When a user searches hashtags related to drugs or mental health, like #crack #suicide and #opioid, the platform sends out a pop up alert offering assistance.

The alert then links through to information about managing drug abuse, and various resources about recovery. Instagram's main goal with this initiative is to target the ever-growing opioid crisis, particularly prevalent in the U.S.

 "The opioid epidemic is an issue that affects millions of people, and we want to use our platform to offer resources to those who need it - in the places where they are seeking help," Instagram's head of public policy, Karina Newton, said in a statement.

"This is an important step for us in our ongoing commitment to make Instagram the kindest, safest social network."

Bad eggs

Instagram is also aware of users abusing the platform itself to shift illegal drugs, but says that removing those types of hashtags altogether removes an important support option.

"In some cases, we are removing the communities of support that help people struggling with opioid or substance misuse," another Instagram spokesperson said in a statement.

"We wanted to find a solution to ensure that people who search opioid-related hashtags in the US have a number of resources available to them."


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.


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