20 June 2023

Social Media Influencer Chunkz Teams Up with Instagram and With You to Raise Awareness of Drug Issues for Young People

News@2X (2)

Social media influencer Chunkz is collaborating with WithYou and with Instagram, to support young people who may be struggling with drugs.

Young people can feel pressure to take drugs from many different places, from films, to parties, to social media, and they often don’t know how to say no, or how to ask for help if they’re already struggling with the effects of drugs.

Through partnering with Chunkz on a range of video materials, WithYou and Instagram are hoping to reach young audiences to raise awareness of safety measures available to protect them when using social media, such as Instagram’s anonymous reporting and blocking tools.

Young people are often unaware of the availability of reporting tools on social media which allow individuals to confidentially report any drug-related content they come across, helping platforms take action to protect their users.

As part of the campaign, Chunkz also highlights the support available via WithYou to help young people navigate drug-related challenges. Support services available for young people using substances include counselling, educational workshops and harm-reduction advice.

Tara Hopkins, Global Director of Policy at Instagram, said:

“We’re proud to be working with Chunkz and WithYou to raise awareness of the support available to young people who may be struggling with the pressures of drugs, both online and offline. At Instagram, we use technology to find and take action on drug content, and to prevent suspicious adults from finding and messaging teens in the first place. But when this does happen, we really encourage young people to both report it, which is completely anonymous and lets us take action, and to block the account so they can’t bother you again. We also direct anyone searching for drugs on Instagram to local organisations so they can get expert advice. We hope this important campaign reminds young people that they’re not alone, that they can say no, and that there are places to go for help.”

Chunkz said:

“Young people have always bought drugs through social networks, but add social media to the mix as well and it's never been easier to buy drugs. People online are using social media platforms to target young people. They are trying to sell drugs or share wrong and dangerous advice around drug use. If this ever happens, people should know how to report it. And if you're worried the person might find out you’ve reported them, there’s no need to panic.

“Reporting on social media platforms like Instagram is totally anonymous and really simple. You can report an account by tapping the three dots by their username and selecting the Report option. Or if someone’s offering you drugs in DM, just hold down the message and tap Report.

“For people struggling with drugs, it's important they know there are organisations out there such as WithYou that can help. Even if you aren’t struggling but it’s a friend or family member you’re worried about, WithYou can help support them too. And what’s best, the service is completely free and non-judgemental.”

Jennifer Rushworth Claeys, Director of Services, Young People, WithYou said:

"We know that young people are being offered drugs on social media platforms, often unaware of the safety measures and services that are available to help them. Through our collaboration with Instagram and Chunkz, we aim to empower young individuals by providing them with the knowledge and resources they may need to stay safe on social media and know where to go if they need support.

“WithYou’s services are available to support young people include one-to-one meetings, group work, educational workshops and harm-reduction advice. All this is offered on a free and non-judgemental basis. We also have a virtual webchat service for those who don’t know where to reach out for support at: www.wearewithyou.org.uk.

Jake Kirkpatrick, Young Person’s Recovery Worker at With You said:

“Having lived experience of drug use I know first-hand how easy it can be for young people to buy drugs either on the streets, at parties or on social media platforms. At WithYou we work with young people to support them with reducing drug use and providing education around how drugs impact their physical and mental health. This campaign with Instagram and Chunkz should help let young people know there is support available at With You and help is available to everyone, regardless of whatever they are going through. Chunkz has a massive audience on social media and young people value his posts. He’s the perfect ambassador for this campaign raising awareness of drug issues for young people.”

To learn more about Instagram's safety measures and reporting tools, visit Instagram’s help pages.

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