It used to be difficult, and a little dangerous, to buy drugs. Buying drugs, whether marijuana, heroin, cocaine or any other illegal substance, often meant going to an unsavory location, finding a “connection” who was often a shady or dangerous individual and paying cash for the “stash.’ When you left, you hoped you wouldn’t be stopped by some other dangerous individual or a gang that would deprive you of your drugs or worse.
When you got home, you often found the drugs you’d purchased weren’t “as advertised” and were of a much inferior quality than you’d been promised. However, what could you do and who could you complain to? If you were younger, you also faced the problem of how to hide your drugs and drug use from your parents and friends.
Drug Buying in the 21st Century
While there are still people who buy drugs in this manner, the internet and social media have changed drug buying, as they’ve changed so many other aspects of life in the 21st century. These days, many people looking to purchase drugs simply need to turn on their computers and browse the dark web. They’ll find numerous sites that offer a variety of drugs for their purchase. Using cryptocurrency, the unregulated internet currency that doesn’t involve banks, individuals can buy drugs and have them shipped to their homes or to a post office box the next day.
What is the dark web? Let’s look at the definitions of the surface web, the deep web and the dark web provided by the internet security company Kaspersky.
The Surface Web
The surface web is what most of us use every day for our work, shopping or enjoyment. These are sites that can be found through most popular browsers and include links to corporations, businesses, news organizations, political sites, social media platforms, blogs, online stores and other frequently visited websites. These are sites that can be indexed by search engines such as Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.
The Deep Web
The deep web is the 90% of the internet that lies below the surface, much like the way 90% of an iceberg lies below the waterline. It’s composed of government or business databases, intranets, online banking pages, academic journals, personal sites that individuals keep hidden for a variety of reasons and sites that offer stolen movies, books, TV shows, child pornography, fake IDs, murder for hire and drugs.
The Dark Web
These latter sites compose the dark web. The deep web isn’t the same as the dark web, and many activities on the deep web are perfectly legal. However, the dark web can be seen as a subset of the deep web. Dark websites are not indexed by search engines like Google. To reach the dark web, you need to use a special browser. These dark websites are often protected by encryption and firewalls. The special browsers rely on encrypted servers that allow individuals to visit dark web sites without being traced.
While it’s not technically illegal to use the dark web (it’s often the only way for people in countries run by totalitarian governments to communicate with each other), you open yourself up to government monitoring, malicious software and scams.
Dangers of Buying Illegal Drugs
One of the main illegal activities carried out on the dark web is the online sale of black-market drugs. The sites remove many of the problems drug buyers faced in the past. Instead of visiting questionable locations or trying to find a connection in your neighborhood, you can buy internet drugs while sitting at your dining room table or desk. The quality of the drug purchased is also better than in the old days.
This might seem like a good thing, as having a “bad trip” resulted in many hospitalizations. However, it’s also much easier to become hooked or to develop a serious drug habit. Too many high-quality drugs can also result in hospitalizations or even death.
There are other dangers that accompany buying drugs online. Over the years, operators of several of the sites have fled with money and cryptocurrency given to them by users without providing the drugs. Again, who do you complain to? When you visit dark websites, you also open your computer to malware attacks, phishing attempts and ransomware.
Legal Risks of the Dark Web
As noted above, you may think you’re anonymous, but you can make yourself visible to government and law enforcement monitoring. While most of the dark web operates under the radar, so to speak, government and law enforcement agencies around the world have also learned how to use the dark web. If you’re caught buying drugs on the dark web, you can face significant prison time.
For instance, in September 2020, global police forces seized more than $6.5 million worth of cash and illegal cryptocurrency and more than 1,100 pounds of illegal drugs, confiscated 64 illegal weapons and made 179 arrests around the world, most of them in United States. This follows several other high-profile arrests made in past years, including at one of the dark web’s biggest sites for selling black market drugs online, the Silk Road, known as “the eBay of vice.”
This means that not only do these dark websites pose a greater danger to your physical health because of the danger of developing a dangerous drug habit, but you’re also putting yourself in greater danger of arrest and imprisonment. In a way, the increased presence of law enforcement on the dark web makes it quite as precarious as it was in the old days when a drug user might buy an illegal drug from an undercover cop.
Services FHE Offers
If you’ve bought drugs in either the old manner or on the dark web and you’re becoming concerned about your drug habit and the effects it’s having on you, your family, your workplace and your friends, we can help. You can contact us anytime at (833) 596-3502. Our team of counselors is ready to take your call any time of the day or night and help you overcome your drug addiction. You can start your journey to recovery simply by picking up the phone.