Last updated: April 12, 2021
Drug dealers are pedaling their wares on the internet.
While we’d be kidding ourselves if we said it’s due to the lockdowns, it’s a safe bet to say business has undoubtedly picked up since then. Actually, illicit online pharmacies started popping up in the early 2000s masked as legitimate companies. Despite increased efforts by law enforcement, they still exist today. If the news of their merchandise goes viral, it’s likely anyone late to the party will be trying to access an abandoned site though because the fly-by-night nature of these “businesses” is common knowledge.
Additionally, drug dealers are upping their game and using social media to reach potential customers. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide another opportunity for illicit drug sales. Technology is providing ways for law enforcement to up their game as well and they are jumping on the opportunities. In 2012, Operation Pangea V seized an estimated $10.5 million in counterfeit pills and shut down more than 18,000 sites.
Sadly, that was just a drop in the bucket. But, advances in technology are making it possible for law enforcement to put artificial intelligence in place that monitors phrases or words associated with the purchase of illicit drugs. It’s making a difference.
What isn’t wrong with this picture?
Of course, consumers risk never receiving their order. Fly-by-night operations use the “take the money and run” business model a lot.
Moreover, some people purchase their medications online because it’s cheaper than filling an actual prescription. Doing so puts them at great risk of an overdose because they’re likely to follow the doctor’s orders. However, the likelihood of receiving a drug cocktail concocted of who knows what is definitely a sobering thought. Drug dealers only care about creating the side effects that the user anticipates. They don’t care how they go about getting it.
Drug addicts, casual users, or people hoping to find cheaper medications online should investigate the source thoroughly before making a purchase. Not doing so could be a fatal mistake.
Sure, pot’s legal… but what about your dispensary?
Marijuana is becoming widely accepted as a medical wonder and used to treat a number of ailments. Over half of the United States have legalized medical marijuana in some form or another. Furthermore, legalizing pot for adult recreational use seems to be making the ballot somewhere with each passing election. Eleven states have already taken the plunge.
Naturally, some people are going to opt for online delivery rather than buying their stash in person. Maybe they aren’t comfortable with the idea of being so public about it or perhaps it’s the convenience factor…
Whatever the reason, consumers, need to do their homework and make sure the source is legit. Getting mixed up in an illegal drug deal isn’t a place you ever want to find yourself.
By the way, if it isn’t legal in the state where someone lives, the order shouldn’t be filled under any circumstances. Unless, of course, it’s an illegal operator and then the odds go up that someone will find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Getting things in focus
Technology will continue to play a huge part in the ability of law enforcement to detect and apprehend illegal drug dealers who set up shop on the internet. Advances in artificial intelligence make detecting and tracking these illegal stores easier—eventually, perhaps they’ll all be shut down for good.
Until then, we’ve got to keep educating people about the dangers of drug use.
Education is a mighty tool because it allows people to make informed decisions. Maybe the decision will be to never use drugs in the first place. And, if it’s too late not to cross that bridge, perhaps education will spark a desire to seek help.