Buying Prescription Drugs online can be deadly
Illegal online websites are the new millennium street drug dealers. Drug abusers are turning to these sites because, at the click of a mouse, they can “score” as many pills in one order as they wish. An increasing amount of people are ordering drugs over the web and dark web, according to a Global Drug Survey.
Finland has the highest percentage of people using the dark web to purchase drugs, with over 45 percent. England, the US, and Australia are the runners-up, with 24, 18 and 17 percent, respectively.
The Global Drug Survey asked respondents to compare drug deliveries to another product frequently delivered to doorsteps: pizza. Of 15,000 cocaine users, 30 percent said they could get cocaine delivered in less than 30 minutes. For pizza, this was only 16 percent. The report mentions the prevalence of camera surveillance in big cities as one of the reasons why “traditional street dealing is becoming less attractive to many suppliers and customers.”
Dr. Duy Nguyen a Psychiatrist at Beachway Therapy in Boynton Beach, Florida explains the major dangers of ordering controlled substances from these unlawful websites.
1. You Don’t Know the Dosage
Dr. Nguyen says, “Buying these substances without a valid prescription is illegal and potentially deadly. If a patient is given a prescription for 5 mg of Valium (a benzodiazepine) from a licensed medical doctor, they can be sure that when they fill it at a legitimate pharmacy, that they are getting exactly that dosage with the proper components of that drug. Conversely, when buying online, at best, a patient can get duped by simply buying a sugar pill. At worst, the pill can be laced with toxins or deadly drugs like Fentanyl.”
2. Without Regulation You May Be Taking Something Different Than What You Expect
“For any addict, it would be impossible to verify what is in the medicine they received from these illegal sites, says Dr. Nguyen. There is no lab one can take the online medications for testing prior to ingesting. Even the at-home testing kits can only confirm the presence of some of what is in a drug but cannot confirm exact compounds/substances the way a lab can.
There is also no way to know the dosage of things that may be mixed with the medication you ordered. You are at risk of having added agents from sugar to hallucinogens and beyond.
3. You May Think A Site Looks Credible, but You May Be Wrong
You may think a site looks authorized and that foreign health policies are what make this sort of activity possible, but you are wrong. A well-designed website may hide an online back alley for illegal delivery and dispensing of controlled substances. Much like the NABP’s study shows, websites will allude to Canadian connections and origins to make you feel more trusting of the transaction, but Dr. Nguyen warns that people need to “be vigilant of sites and transactions where you don’t need a valid prescription from a doctor with whom you have met in person. This is a clear clue that something is wrong.”
4. The drugs may be outdated.
Dr. Nguyen explains that “Expired drugs can be inexpensive, but they may be so old they have lost their effectiveness. You’ll be wasting your money and risking your health for no therapeutic benefit or for a dangerously low amount of benefit.”
5. The drugs may be diluted.
Dr. Nguyen explains that “In particular, a liquid drug can be watered down. You might order a larger dose and receive a smaller one (e.g., you order 40 mg tablets and receive 20 mg, with no indication the dose is incorrect.) When you take the drug, you’ll find that it doesn’t have the expected effect because it’s only a portion of the amount you should be taking.”
6. The drugs inside the bottle may be mislabeled or the wrong drug.
Dr. Nguyen shares that, “You might order a high-end branded drug, but what’s in the bottle might be some other cheap substance manufactured to look like the drug you ordered. Sometimes you order one drug and they send you a different product, telling you it’s identical to the drug you ordered, or that they saved you money by sending you the alternative.”
7. The drugs may be counterfeit.
Counterfeit drugs have made their way into the legal American drug supply and are being delivered to patients every day.
Final Advice from Dr. Nguyen
If you are taking drugs prescribed by your doctor and feel the need to turn to the Internet to get more then you are abusing the guidelines set by your prescribing doctor. This can definitely signal an addiction and abuse of the prescription. If you are turning to the Internet to purchase Benzos, Cocaine, MDNA, Opioids, etc. you must turn to a medical professional for counseling and next steps such as an in-patient detox followed by a drug and alcohol rehab. You are taking your life into your hands when you purchase illegal prescriptions online!
Dr. Duy Nguyen, D.O. is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist in General Psychiatry with Beachway Therapy Center who has experience with providing psychiatric care in a variety of settings including residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient mental health, and the VA Medical Center. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, and completed general psychiatry training in South Florida at the Palm Beach Consortium for Graduate Medical Education at University Hospital in Tamarac, FL.