Buying Drugs on the Dark Web

The dark net continues to be a growing source for buying drugs in this country, according to the Global Drugs Survey. According to their figures, the amount of drugs purchased via the dark web has doubled since 2014.

For the survey over 120,000 people were questioned, coming from over 30 countries. In England, the survey indicated that nearly 29% of drug users in England pre-ordered their drugs via the web, compared to a figure of just under 13% in 2014. In Scotland the percentage of drugs that were delivered to order in this way was even higher.

Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy are thought to be the most purchased drugs on the web, as well as synthetic drugs such as Spice.

The results of the survey concur with a recent study from the Australian National University (ANU) which suggested that it has never been easier to buy synthetic opioids on the dark web.

Buying Drugs On the Web Is Risky

Anybody who decides to buy drugs on the web is taking a major risk. In effect, you are giving out your name and home address to a complete stranger. What they do with that information may not be in your best interests, they may even want to blackmail you in order to keep your secret safe.

As well as being illegal, buying drugs on the dark web can lead to you being scammed or exploited financially. As well as that, you will have no consumer protection, so your could be just throwing your money away.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is actively involved in trying to crackdown on the kind of sites that pop up to sell illegal drugs of abuse. Several of the bigger dark net marketplaces have been closed down as a result. critics of this approach argue that by doing this, users are forced to buy from small, untested websites, making them even more susceptible to being scammed or blackmailed.

The NCA argues that it takes cyber-crime threat seriously, and recent high profile closures of websites have resulted in long prison sentences for individuals that have been detected as being behind these businesses.

Concerns Over Increasing Dark Web Drug Sales

The increase in drug sales on the dark web is concerning for several reasons:

  • It makes illegal and potentially dangerous substances more easily available and accessible. This could lead to higher rates of drug abuse and addiction.
  • The lack of regulation around production and distribution means users cannot be certain of the purity or safety of substances purchased. They may contain other unknown and hazardous chemicals.
  • The anonymous nature of these online markets can embolden buyers to make riskier purchases than they would offline. This could lead to health issues or even overdoses.
  • There are risks of customers being scammed with no recourse. They have no consumer protections when using dark web markets.
  • Increased dark web sales make it harder for law enforcement and health agencies to track and understand trends in the illegal drug trade. This reduces their ability to respond to emerging threats.

So while the convenience and privacy of dark web markets is appealing to some buyers, there are many risks involved. More education is needed around these downsides. Monitoring systems also need improving to better track this rapidly evolving issue.

Common Drugs Purchased

Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy are thought to be the most purchased drugs on the web, as well as synthetic drugs such as Spice.

The potency and purity of these substances bought online can vary enormously:

Cannabis – This may be of unknown origin and strength. It could be contaminated with moulds, pesticides or other chemicals.

Cocaine – Often cut with other white powders reducing purity. Can contain levamisole leaving users prone to rotting flesh.

Ecstasy – High variability in MDMA content. Frequently adulterated with other compounds like bath salts.

Spice – These synthetic cannabinoids can be 100 times stronger than THC. Their chemical makeups change regularly making effects unpredictable.

So while buyers are often seeking better value or higher purity products online, much of what is purchased will still be of questionable or hazardous composition.

Dangers of Blackmail & Scams

As the article rightly points out, providing personal information to anonymous dark web dealers has huge risks:

  • Blackmail – Criminals could threaten to expose buyers unless extortion payments are made.
  • Data leaks – Marketplaces get hacked exposing user info. Home addresses get sold to other parties.
  • Exit scams – Site admins suddenly close shop taking buyer’s money without delivering goods.
  • Carding – Card details used on markets get stolen and defrauded.

These threats mean dark web shoppers are taking a big gamble with their privacy and finances. The sense of anonymity fosters an environment ripe for exploitation.

While enforcement against large marketplaces continues, smaller fragmented sites popping up present even more uncertainty for buyers. Users must weigh up if accessing illegal substances this way is worth the multiple dangers involved.

Photo: “Apple” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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