Most of us are aware of the illicit drug market that usually consists of players, like your local street dealers, their suppliers, and then their suppliers, eventually working all the way up, ending at whoever manufactured the product. When most people think of the drug trade, they associate it with organizations like the Mexican drug cartels or the sketchy guy people meet on the street corner downtown or in a dark alley somewhere in the bowels of a large city. What many may not know is that there is an even more illicit, and hidden way to purchase these highly dangerous and illegal drugs or substances. Something that is known as the deep net, or dark web. So, is it easy to buy drugs on the dark web?
The dark web is a secret not known to many, especially to those who never go looking, and to those who are aware of its existence, know it to be extremely hidden. It is actually designed to be intentionally difficult to access and navigate. Essentially, the dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. Its anonymous nature, means that it cannot be found by searching in places like Google, or by stumbling upon it accidentally.
It is estimated that nearly 96% of the internet is inaccessible by search engines and the general public. To access the deep net, certain types of software are usually required. A major component in being able to access the dark web is by having a specific web browser that allows you to do so. With the exception of computer hackers or cybersecurity experts, it’s pretty safe to say that most people have never even heard of the browser. (Hint: it’s not Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge).
Some people might assume that buying drugs on the dark web is safer because of its perceived anonymity, but that isn't necessarily true. The mere fact that most people are unable to access the dark web, especially without some sort of insider knowledge, shows just how difficult it could be for the average joe to purchase illicit drugs using it. However, many tech-savvy people, say, college students for instance, are seeking out a variety of substances on the dark web, from ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, date rape drugs like GHB or Quaaludes, to bootlegged prescription painkillers, and even nootropics like Adderall or Modafinil.
There are many reasons why the deep net marketplace makes it more difficult to purchase drugs. Typically, the dark net is more expensive than your local street-corner drug dealer. It can also be riskier to the buyer, you may get ripped off, or you may get a drug laced with another drug that could kill you. You may have ordered Adderall, but what you get could be methamphetamine or something entirely different. Many of the substances on the dark web have been laced with fentanyl, whether intentional, or not.
However, experts have seen a recent uptick in people using the dark web, as the Coronavirus has swept across the globe. COVID-19 has certainly made it more difficult for some regular users to obtain the drugs they are addicted to. Manufacturing, supply chains and local dealer’s supplies have all been disrupted to some extent, due to the pandemic.
While it is more difficult to access, the dark web is a haven for some drug dealers as the prices for their drugs are also more expensive. Considering the dealers seem to be assuming less risk, it is a surprise that they are able to charge more for their illegal, and oftentimes harmful, products. Not to mention, having to pay for shipping and handling. Though this may not be a problem for the addict with tons of cash flow, that is not ordinarily the case. For the majority of users, the dark web is often highly unaffordable. So, even if they were to somehow gain access in order to buy them, they most likely would be deterred because it typically costs much more than just meeting your dealer on the street.
Another reason why getting drugs on the dark web is more difficult, or less appealing to the buyer, is having to wait for the product to come in the mail. Although some users may have to wait a couple hours for their normal dealer to answer the phone, or show up at the meeting spot, waiting for drugs purchased on the dark web could take weeks, that is, if they ever come. This could be a major problem for someone looking to get a quick fix, while avoiding withdrawal symptoms.
Many people who use drugs regularly do not think that far ahead, especially in terms of how long their stash is going to last. The majority of people who are actively using drugs need to resupply daily and do not want to go through the hassle of having to wait for a package in the mail.
Additionally, when a person buys drugs off of the dark web, they are also assuming all of the risks of federal drug trafficking charges. For many unsuspecting buyers, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has been known to show up at their door instead of the package they were waiting for. The majority, if not all, of law enforcement agencies are aware of the illegal drug trade conducted on the deep net. For any suspicious packages being shipped overseas or across state borders, there is a high probability that they will be inspected. Drugs purchased from the dark web are often discovered during the transportation process. Getting caught shipping drugs is a federal crime and you could easily be charged with a felony.
On top of being riskier and more expensive, buying drugs on the darkweb also increases the unpredictability of the product, making it more dangerous to one's health. When someone buys drugs off of the internet there is no way to guarantee on the strength of the actual product, or the ingredients used to manufacture it. People who sell drugs over the internet have a much broader market and do not have to meet face-to-face. The anonymity of the dark net causes dealers to care less about their reputation and the quality of their products. A local dealer has an image they need to maintain if they want to continue having clients. If word ever got out on the street that they were selling “wack” product, the majority of their business would be lost.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why buying drugs on the dark web is not a good idea for your personal, financial and legal safety. The best route possible would be not buying drugs at all and getting help for your addiction, if you need it. If you, or a loved one, are having difficulties staying sober, or you suspect there is a substance abuse problem, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our addiction specialists today. Instead of trying to find a new way to buy drugs, we urge you to consider taking back control over your life.
Here at More Than Rehab, we understand what it takes to lead a happy and successful life of sobriety, through an evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. We are always here to help, 24/7. Give us a call!