Technology today has provided the world with an untraceable pathway to purchasing illicit and prescription drugs via the internet. Since internet pharmaceutical companies and drug stores infiltrated the drug selling market, sales of prescription pills and legal drugs have increased dramatically, as has an addiction to them. Addiction Helper understand that many with an addiction or dependency use the internet to order pills that they would not otherwise be prescribed, substances controlled under the Substance Misuse Act 1971, and can also access a wide variety of legal highs as well as ex-legal highs that have now been prohibited under the Psychoactive Substances Act, enforced in May of 2016. The Psychoactive Substances Act brought a blanket ban too many dangerous legal highs, as it became more and more apparent that just because they were legal, they were by no means safe. This meant a mass closure of legal high shops throughout the UK. The dark net has capitalised on this further and still makes provision for these drugs to be purchased and is inadvertently encouraging addiction, dependency and misuse on a daily basis around the world.
If you have concerns that you or a loved one may be addicted to or abusing drugs purchased from the internet, we are here to help. This page is aimed at informing you about the risks associated with internet drug addiction, the signs and symptoms and more importantly how we can help you to access the correct treatment and support for you or your loved one’s particular addiction.
Addiction Helper have helped over 10,000 individuals seek the correct help and treatment for their individual alcohol, drug or behavioural addiction problem. We are passionate about saving lives and in educating others as to the dangers of this life-threatening illness of the mind and body. Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, social upbringing, education, religion or race. Classed as a “chronic relapsing brain disease” by Public Health England and the National Institute of Health on Drug Misuse, it is important to understand that underlying the drugs is an illness of the mind that compels the individual to continue in their addiction regardless of the ever increasing and more serious consequences. Addiction kills, but recovery is possible with the correct help, support and treatment.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one are addicted to internet drugs, please call us or talk with us on LIVE CHAT, for immediate expert help and advice!
What Are Internet Drugs?
Internet drugs are a group of drugs that can usually only be purchased illicitly off the street or with a valid personal prescription from a doctor. Popularly referred to as Dark Net drugs, they are usually sold online by legal high shops, pharmaceutical companies or independent traders. Just about anything can be purchased from the internet nowadays, including illicit drugs such as MDMA, Cannabis, Cocaine, ex-legal highs that mimic the effects of Class A’s and other controlled substances, prescription drugs such as Benzodiazepines, Amphetamines, Opiates and Sleeping tablets. Prescribed drugs can be easily purchased with the click of a button without a prescription. The more you buy, the bigger the discount you get, so individuals tend to purchase in bulk. Many now illicit legal highs such as Spice and prescription drugs are not regulated in other countries and so the vast majority of these drugs are imported from abroad or underground laboratories. There is no way of knowing exactly what you are getting or the chemicals used in their production, as they rarely come with instructions. Most prescription internet drugs are sold under generic brand names and are not the same as you would obtain from your doctor, legally on prescription.
The Most Popular Drugs Purchased Worldwide from the Internet
For Silk Road alone, a historically famous online dark net company, the top 3 drugs purchased globally were:
- MDMA (Ecstasy)
The Top 3 Prescription only drugs that produced the most revenue globally are:
Xanax is actually a trade name for Alprazolam, it is a short-acting powerful sedative that is extremely addictive and is classified as a Benzodiazepine. Oxycodone is an opiate painkiller, very powerful and easily abused. OxyContin was released as a controlled release formula of Oxycodone that is harder to abuse. All 3 prescription drugs are controlled under the Substance Misuse Act 1971 and are very dangerous when abused or misused and hold a great potential for addiction and dependency to develop.
Silk Road 1.0 is historically renowned for cornering the marketplace for the original internet sales of illicit substances and trades. Established in 2011, the site was closed down in October 2013 due to Federal action taken on the website. Silk Road 2.0 then came onto the dark web and was subsequently shut down in November 2014 by the FBI. This led to Silk Road 3 which came offline voluntarily due to loss of funds. There are many, many websites on the internet that you can still purchase legal highs, counterfeit goods, illicit drugs and prescription drugs from. Closing down illicit websites just means that customers who have purchases pending, lose their money and a new website is promptly built in replacement. This applies to dark web internet sites all over the world.
Most Popular Internet Drugs Purchased by the UK
The UK statistics for purchasing drugs off the internet are scarily high. Below is a list of the most popularly purchased internet drugs according to sales made by the dark web to UK users. These stats were based on the sales of Silk Road from December 2013 to July 2015.
As you can see from the sales statistics, the top 5 illicit drugs that produced the most revenue from UK users were:
- MDMA and Ecstasy
- 2C – a drug that combines the effects of LSD and Ecstasy
- Prescription Drugs
The UK Currently Hit Top Spot for Percentage of Drugs Bought from the Internet
The Global Drug Survey released the following infographic below to demonstrate how sales in the UK, in particular, have rocketed over a period of 2 years. Perhaps this is due to more substances being controlled in the UK than in other countries, but as an overall trend, the UK sales have doubled during the period of 2012 to 2014.
The most recent report which reveals the percentage of users obtaining their drugs from the internet, conducted by the Global Drugs Survey for 2016, reveals that the UK despite being the smallest of all the countries surveyed, is still topping the market for internet purchasing of drugs
This further confirms the extent of the problem in the UK and also globally. This is not a matter to be taken lightly, as sales are happening every minute of every day, some with deadly consequences!
Internet Drug Addiction Still on the Rise
If statistics are anything to go by, internet drug addiction is a bigger problem than many of us ever imagined. UK figures relating to the number of drug users in the UK purchasing their drugs from the internet has more than DOUBLED in the past 3 years.
Purchasing drugs from the internet is easy, there is a mass of hidden web pages that will be revealed with certain keyword searches that allow users to buy their drugs online whilst their computer hides their IP address. Purchases don’t even show on debit or credit card records or statements, as they come up under a different name to avoid being traced. The drugs are packaged and delivered discreetly, with no indication as to what they contain. So a teenager under age could easily purchase and take delivery without raising suspicion within the household that they live in.
Statistics relating to the UK show that 58 percent of English drug users who had bought drugs from the internet, had purchased MDMA, whilst 45 percent had bought Cannabis. Global drug research has also shown that young drug users without a job or university degree, are far more likely to purchase their drugs online as opposed to from a street dealer or another source.
MDMA, currently the most popular internet drug, comes in all shapes, sizes and colours as demonstrated below, “Molly” and “Ecstasy” are both commonly used names for this drug :
Why Buying Drugs from the Internet Is so Popular
There are several reasons as to why an individual may be buying drugs off the internet, here are the most common:
- It enables a secret abuse problem or addiction
- The internet is available to all ages to purchase drugs from
- Drugs can be bought in bulk and sold on to make a profit on the streets
- Prescription drug addicts can pad out prescriptions to stop suspicion from arising, or self-medicate and abuse internet bought prescribed drugs that may otherwise be difficult to get hold of.
- Just about any drug can be purchased from the internet with a few clicks of a button.
- There is less chance of getting caught as sales are not traceable and packaging discreet.
- Purchasers can shop around for the best “deal”
- There are fewer risks involved, no exposure to violence or law
- Purchasers can try out new drugs without having to approach street dealers or get entangled with dealers or people they would be too afraid to approach or associate with.
- They trust internet shops more, as can read previous reviews left by buyers (bear in mind these may well be made up!)
- Purchasing from the internet somehow makes buying drugs more acceptable to the buyer
The Independent newspaper recently released a press article regarding the surging market of internet drug sales in the UK. The following is an excerpt from the article. The Independent interviewed Dr Adam Winstock, the founder of the Global Drug Survey and also a consultant addiction psychiatrist, he told the Independent:
“The dark net represents a natural extension of online shopping that is part of so many of our lives. The dark net offers a diversity of product range, ease of access and reduced exposure to interpersonal violence.
“Although quality varies, drugs on the dark net tend to be of a more consistent quality. As our data shows, however, better quality drugs are not always safer for people. There is always the risk that some users who find themselves with easier access to better drugs may be more likely to develop dependence.
“Ultimately the dark net as a source will only grow. It challenges drug law enforcement and we should now explore how to harness the dark net as a portal for promoting safer drug use as a way of offsetting potential harms.”
Jamie Bartlett, author of “The Dark Net” and director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at thinktank Demos said there were obvious reasons why the dark net was so attractive to drug users.
“The quality and range of products is so much better online”, he said. “It’s a competitive market like Amazon or eBay so product quality is much better than it is offline and you can buy all sorts of boutique drugs and niche types of MDMA that you could never get offline.
“If you know what you’re doing and you’re a sensible user, it’s probably safer because you’re not hanging around on street corners and your drugs aren’t going to be cut with other things. But if you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re inexperienced, it can be quite dangerous to get hold of all these drugs, especially if you’re 15 or 16 and hear that you can get cocaine and MDMA online. You’ve suddenly got access to the kind of things you would never have done before.
“We’re talking about 15-year-olds getting hold of LSD and things like that, which is a complete disaster.”
The Dangers of Internet Drugs
Internet sold drugs are responsible for many individuals developing abuse problems or addictions to drugs that they would not otherwise have had access to. There are no restrictions or questions asked. But many online internet drug shops obtain their stock from unknown sources. Prescription pills, in particular, tend to be imported from all over the world and do not come with the necessary warning signs of potential addiction. Also, an online internet drug seller is not going to monitor if you have an addiction or question the amount you buy! It is also very difficult to make a complaint against an online company. Addiction Helper have investigated this, making complaints regarding quality, no delivery and delayed delivery and asking questions regarding as to where they are obtained and if safe…in nearly all cases there was no response, or customer services available.
Many prescription drugs websites offer guaranteed satisfaction and next day delivery, at a price…promises that are rarely fulfilled. Addiction Helper investigated further into some websites and placed an order for Diazepam, that was cheap to buy and described as a generic brand of high quality (Diazepam is a popularly ordered internet prescribed drug with huge addiction potential). This is what was delivered 6 weeks later, with an elastic band around them and no instructions or precautions leaflet, in a sealed brown envelope:
Codeine and other opiate-based medications are also very popular prescription internet drugs that are purchased.
Did you know that you can develop an addiction to opiates within as little as 3 days of continuous use?
There have also been many reports of fake prescription drugs being sold on the internet. These can be exceptionally dangerous, as you do not know what is in them, or where they are sourced from.
The main danger with internet drugs is lack of knowledge and regulation. You or your loved one could be putting yourself at great risk of developing an addiction, self-medicating wrongly, taking life-threatening risks by mixing with other drugs or alcohol or overdosing.
Recognising Internet Drug Abuse and Addiction
As purchasing from the internet is so easy, you can see how easily an individual could become addicted to an internet drug or abuse it.
If you have concerns that you or a loved one may have an abuse problem or addiction to internet drugs there are some helpful signs and symptoms to watch out for. If you do have a problem or addiction, it is strongly advised that you promptly seek help; we will tell you more about how we can help in the internet drug treatment section further on in this article. The main signs to look out for is numerous parcels being delivered and a marked change in you or your loved one’s behaviour and appearance. This should never be ignored. Addiction does not resolve itself and requires specialist treatment from addiction professionals that can help.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to internet drug addiction and how we can get you the immediate help needed, please call us or talk to one of our addiction experts on LIVE CHAT now to discuss the treatment options available.
Signs and Symptoms of Internet Drug Addiction
- Look for the following signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one that will indicate an addiction or a problem that requires immediate help:
- Ordering repeat purchases of the same drug or experimenting with lots of different drugs
- Ordering in bulk and panicking when stocks run low
- Neglecting costs and personal financial responsibilities in favour of buying internet drugs
- Mixing internet drugs with alcohol or other drugs for greater effect
- Using internet drugs to pad out drugs prescribed by your doctor as you are taking more than prescribed
- Placing orders with multiple companies due to fear of running out before delivery if there is a hold up with one company
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you run out or miss a dose
- Ever increasing the amount you take as the original amount no longer has the same effect, indicating you have built tolerance and have a drug dependency
- Isolating from family and friends and secretive behaviour
- Borrowing or stealing money to fund your internet drugs
- Using others credit cards or debit cards to make purchases as you are underage or do not have the funds
- Not really caring what is in the drug, that there is a lack of information or where they are sourced from, as long as you get them as quickly as possible
- Neglecting interests, responsibilities, family, social life, work, college or school
- Constantly obsessing, thinking about or searching for drugs online
- Purchasing prescribed internet drugs without prescription or formal diagnosis, or because a prescription has been stopped by a doctor
- Binging on internet drugs, prescription, illegal or legal highs
- Resorting to the buying from the internet as you have been refused by a GP
- Lying to others or hiding what you are doing with regards to buying internet drugs
- Using so-called party drugs or recreational drugs frequently and alone
- You have suffered negative consequences as a result of internet drugs, but still, continue to take them
- You want to stop, but feel you have no ability or control to stop
The above signs and symptoms are not a finite list if you are using, and you are hiding it, deep inside you will know you have a problem but will be scared to admit it. We understand that fear, many of our staff are in recovery themselves having overcome their own personal battles with addiction. We are living proof that you can get well and have a life you have never dreamed would be achievable. We can guide you in the first tentative steps and help you get the correct treatment for you as an individual and for your individual circumstances. Our addiction experts who answer our phones and live chat are highly skilled and trained in what they do. They will conduct a free and confidential assessment of your treatment needs before advising you of a treatment plan that is accessible to you. We can even arrange an immediate admission to private rehab if this is your treatment need and wish. Or, if you do not have the funds, point you in the right direction to access free local help and support. We are passionate about saving lives and educating others on the disease of addiction, please don’t delay calling us if you need help!
Help on the NHS for Internet Drug Addiction
If you are planning on stopping taking internet drugs, it is essential that you seek medical or professional help and advice first, so that you can be assessed for any dependency present. If you do have an internet drug dependency, you will need to wean off it at a pace that is safe for your body and mind. Addiction treatment on the NHS for internet drugs is very limited. A Doctor may agree to prescribe a tapering off the regime, providing a suitable substitute is available, but in many cases, there is not. Because the drugs are purchased from the internet, it is very unlikely that your doctor will agree to this as there is no way of monitoring if you have stopped purchasing from the internet and are not merely manipulating the system for additional supplies. You can, however, request a full medical check-up which is always a good idea if you have been taking drugs that you are unsure of what is in them, or for any length of time, to check for any signs of damage to the body. You can also seek help and support from your local Drug and Alcohol team, but because it is an internet drug addiction or abuse problem unless you also have a class An opiate or alcohol addiction, it is rare that you would be considered for rehab funding. Funding is very limited and so tends to be reserved for Class A opiate users and Alcoholics, which cause the highest mortality rate and impact on society in general. By engaging with your local Drug and Alcohol Team, you can access free support without going through your GP; you can self-refer if you would prefer your information to stay confidential. You will gain support, knowledge and motivation from attending group sessions and keyworker one to ones and will benefit from seeing the team’s Doctor, who can advise you on the best methods of reducing and stopping safely. You can find the details of your local drug and alcohol team.
Are There Meetings for Internet Drug Addicts and Their Families?
There are a number of self-help groups available; Narcotics Anonymous cover all drugs, including prescription pills, you can find a meeting near you by visiting their page. Smart Recovery groups are also helpful in providing support and motivation, you can find details of their meetings. There are also a number of support groups for families of those with an addiction problem, they include ADFAM and FAMANON.
Internet Drug Addiction Detox
If you have an addiction or abuse problem with internet drugs and come to a point where you no longer want take them, you will naturally want to know what the options are when it comes to stopping the drug or drugs safely. Detoxing is only the start of addiction recovery. Addiction is an illness of the mind; recognised by medical professionals around the world as a “chronic relapsing brain disease” that over time, left untreated, only ever gets progressively worse. Those who have managed to stop for a period of time, only to relapse on further down the line, will very much identify with this definition of what addiction is.
The first step to recovery from any addiction is to admit you have a problem and ask for help. Many individuals find that their pride, guilt, shame and fear of being judged, prevent them from doing this. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and to admit that you have lost control. Please remember that having the disease of addiction is not your fault, it is no one’s fault in fact, but it is up to you to take responsibility and ask for help and seek the correct treatment. This can be the difference between life and death.
When it comes to detoxing from internet drugs, we do not recommend that you attempt to detox without seeking professional guidance and advice first. Many factors need to be taken into consideration when planning a safe detox regime. By not doing it correctly, you will be at far higher risk of suffering dangerous withdrawal effects and failing to complete the detox. The type and duration of detox required will be dependent on the drug or drugs that you are physically dependent on.
When it comes to detoxing from drugs there are two options that are considered safe:
- Undergo a full medical detox within the safe and professional environment of a rehab or detox clinic, where you will be medically monitored and supervised throughout.
- Be completely honest with your GP or drug worker, so that they can suggest a suitable tapering off regime and support you for the duration within the community.
Inpatient Medical Drug Detox for Internet Drugs
Inpatient medical detoxes show by far the highest success rate, this is due to the fact that the detoxification is taken out of the patient’s control and they are no longer trying to self-manage a substance they have little or no control over. The temptation to cheat on a detox is also completely removed, as they are within a safe and secure environment that is abstinent based. There is no access to pills, drugs, alcohol or the internet drug sites and all approved medications are dispensed under strict supervision by staff members who are qualified to dispense it. In addition to these benefits, by undergoing a full medical inpatient detox, you will also be with like-minded others going through similar detoxes and with a common goal, to achieve recovery from addiction. There is much strength to be found in peers supporting one another.
The private rehabs that Addiction Helper work with are all CQC regulated assuring you of the highest standards of care possible, they are able to facilitate the clock medical/nursing care and psychological support. This is hugely important to the successful completion of any drug detox, as your body and mind will naturally be craving the drug you are trying to stop. Professional psychological support is invaluable, as is a structured recovery programme, all of which will be available during your inpatient treatment.
Rehab Treatment for Internet Drug Addiction
For an individual who has an addiction to internet drugs, it is essential that they seek both medical and professional psychological help. The quickest way to access rehab for an internet drug addiction or abuse problem is through a private addiction rehab. Addiction Helper are able to facilitate immediate and same day admissions for those in crisis. Some individuals need to be taken out of the toxic environment they have submerged themselves into, away from temptation and the daily pressures of life in order to get well. Addiction Helper strongly recommends inpatient medical detoxification and rehabilitation for any kind of drug dependency or addiction, due to the dangers, temptations and complications that can arise whilst withdrawing. This is especially important in cases where there is a high level of drug dependency, a dual diagnosis, or where there is another dependency to alcohol or drugs present.
Our exemplary addiction rehab centres provide a full medical detox regime for those with a physical dependency to any kind of prescription pills, alcohol, ex-legal highs, internet bought drugs or illicit drugs. The detox will be carefully monitored throughout, by medical and therapeutic staff to ensure the patient’s safety at all times. We only work with CQC regulated treatment centres and have access to over 100 addiction treatment rehabs within the UK and also some elite and luxurious rehabs abroad. All of our approved rehabs adhere to strict medical and therapeutic guidelines, regulations and policies at all times.
Treating the Root Causes of Internet Drug Addiction
Addiction Helper specialises in treating addiction; we understand that addiction is both a physical and mental illness and that both aspects need to be comprehensively treated in order to avoid relapse. By calling us, you will receive a comprehensive assessment free of charge, conducted by one of our addiction treatment experts; who will then make an informed decision as to the best and most successful treatment options available to you. We take all factors into consideration when treating addiction, to ensure that you are happy with your choice of rehab and that you have the best chance of a full and permanent recovery. We can find you or your loved one the ideal treatment plan and rehab facility in which to recover from an addiction to internet drugs and any other addictions or illnesses that are present. We offer specialist inpatient treatment ranging from affordable to luxury detox and rehabilitation, with locations all over the UK and also overseas. We also offer short term and long term programmes, including secondary, extended tertiary care and sober living accommodation.
Personalised Treatment to Free You from Internet Drug Addiction Permanently!
The duration of treatment required to get you or your loved one will depend on individual circumstances, the severity of the addiction, what the substance is and if any other substances or illnesses are involved. We are also able to fully treat co-occurring illnesses such as Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma, OCD and Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD). These conditions often underlie a substance or activity addiction, so it is imperative that they are all treated simultaneously and comprehensively in order that a full and lasting recovery is possible.
Following a successful medical detoxification from any drug dependency, the individual will then ideally undergo a full rehabilitation programme to address the psychological aspect of their internet drug addiction. Our rehabs are staffed by experienced and fully qualified addiction treatment experts, including doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, holistic therapists and highly trained and experienced support workers. Many of our staff are in recovery themselves, so have a unique insight and understanding of the addict’s brain and associated maladaptive and destructive behaviours.
Our addiction rehab treatment clinics only deliver the latest in evidence-based addiction therapeutic and medical treatments such as: a full medical detox, one to one counselling, process groups, trauma therapy, CBT, DBT, 12 Step therapy, group therapy, educational workshops, relapse prevention techniques, mindfulness, meditation, fitness programme, healthy eating programme, holistic programme and much, much more!
Each individual’s treatment programme is specifically tailored to their individual medical, physical, social, emotional, spiritual and psychological treatment needs. We treat the individual as a whole, using person-centred treatment techniques. Failing to treat the psychological aspect of an internet drug addiction and the issues underpinning it, will usually result in relapse. For this particular addiction, full inpatient residential detox and rehabilitation provides the individual with the best chance of staying permanently free from drugs and other addictive substances in future. Furthermore, all patients that complete their drug treatment programme will also receive 12 months complimentary aftercare at their chosen rehab. We consider this vital to the individual’s ongoing recovery and growth. It also assists with keeping the individual inspired and engaged in the recovery process and helps them to overcome any problems and challenges they may be facing back in their home environment.
Internet drug addiction and abuse can kill and can affect anyone; if you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction or an abuse problem to internet drugs, it is important you seek help immediately. Call us now, or talk to use via LIVE CHAT; we are open 24/7 and waiting for your call. We can help you take the first steps to breaking free from addiction permanently!