The Illegal Drug Trade Has Moved from the Street to the Internet

The only safe medications are the ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly.” ~ Anne Milgram, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration

Quick…what does a “drug dealer” look like?

If you are like most people, you picture someone who is obviously dangerous and seedy-looking. The stereotypical drug dealer in movies and on TV is young, dresses like a thug, and hangs out on street corners in bad neighborhoods.

In your mind, you can keep your family safe by keeping them away from people who fit that description.

Drug Dealing Goes High-Tech

But what if we told you that today’s drug pushers can increasingly be found on the Internet, through clandestine market sites on the Dark Net? Because these sites are only accessible through specialized browsers that obscure the purchaser’s identity, Illicit drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine are sold openly, alongside supposed brand-name prescription medications.

In other words, illicit drugs are as close as the computer in your home or the smartphone in your pocket. Keeping away from drug dealers is now harder than ever.

Russian Roulette with Deadly Fakes

Because these drug-selling websites look just like any other legitimate e-commerce site, unsuspecting consumers mistakenly believe that the products are safe. But far too often, the drugs they receive are even worse than illicit – they are actually counterfeit, containing substances that are even more dangerous.

According to the DEA, the majority of the fake pills confiscated in America were made in Mexico from chemicals originally supplied by clandestine laboratories in China. They are manufactured to look virtually identical to legitimate prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, but instead contain illicitly-made fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

The threat is so real that in September, the DEA issued its first public safety alert in six years, specifically warning about mass-produced counterfeit pills.

FBI analyst Katherine Brennan says, “These markets give an illusion that what you’re looking at is from the supply chain or it’s from a professional in some way, shape, or form. But these are pills pressed with fentanyl in somebody’s home or a warehouse. They’re very dangerous. There’s no oversight or testing. They’re not coming from a place where people are following policies and procedures to create medication or other products in a way that’s safe.

What’s the Bottom Line About Online Drug Sales?

The emergence of Dark Net sites means that drugs are more available than ever before, and the growing fentanyl threat makes the risk of death even greater. That’s why fatal overdoses in America are at an all-time high – over 100,000 deaths between May 2020 and April 2021.

Whether you are trying to help a struggling loved one or whether you are trying to change your life for the better, Lasting Recovery can give you the support you need. As the oldest and most-trusted outpatient drug rehab program in San Diego, Lasting Recovery utilizes an evidence-based treatment strategy that empowers you to successfully regain your long-term sobriety.

Best of all, we now offer a virtual rehab program that lets you receive the services you need from the privacy and safety of your own home.

For more information or for a confidential needs assessment, contact Lasting Recovery TODAY.

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