Earlier this week, we discussed the important topic of synthetic drug use, a trend that is both dangerous and indicative of the ever-changing landscape of drug addiction in America. The people making these dangerous drugs are usually one step ahead of government organizations responsible for mitigating the impact of drug use across the country, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Part of the problem, or the difficulty, in policing synthetic drugs is that the chemicals that are sprayed on benign plant matter to make synthetic cannabis and salts to make “bath salts” are synthesized in China. An enormous country that lacks the kind of oversight that we find in our own country, at least when it comes to laboratories. While China has made efforts to curb the problem and commitments to the United States to do a better job at policing the manufacturing and distribution of such chemicals, the deadly chemicals are still being made and escaping the country’s borders.
In many cases, acquiring the chemical needed is as easy as opening a laptop and venturing into what is known as the “dark web.” Perhaps you have heard of the former online marketplace known as the Silk Road. If not, it was a website that operated in the darkest regions of the internet, a place where one can by heroin, passports and various chemicals to make drugs like synthetic marijuana.
The Dark Web
Once inside the Internet’s shadowy underworld, the possibilities are endless. What’s worse, people journeying into the dark web can do so anonymously, paying for goods and services with a virtually untraceable currency known as Bitcoins. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been working tirelessly to shut down black markets residing in the dark web.
In 2015 Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road was sentenced to life without parole after being arrested by the FBI. But as was mentioned earlier, the ever-changing landscape of drug use in America, such as buying drugs online, allows for others to do the same. Just as when a cartel head is arrested, another moves into a position of power. The Hydra Effect. Cut off one head, only to face another.
The sentence Ulbricht received was arguably harsh. While he got rich off illegal drug sales, et al., he wasn’t in fact the one selling the drugs. He just received a percentage of all sales. The stiff sentence was intended to deter others from creating similar dark marketplaces.
However, a new study published in the British Journal of Criminology, shows that in the two years since the Silk Road saw its end, Boston College sociologist Isak Ladegaard found that sales on the dark web actually increased, Wired reports. And the reasons for the rise in overall sales in the marketplaces that replaced Ulbricht’s site might be linked to a greater awareness in the public about online illegal drug sales due to the media coverage of the Silk Road.
“The timing suggests that people weren’t discouraged from buying and selling drugs,” says Ladegaard. “The data suggests that trade increased. And one likely explanation is that all the media coverage only made people more aware of the existence of the Silk Road and similar markets.”
A Dangerous Way to Buy Drugs
Setting aside the potential for arrest, buying drugs online could lead to the purchase of substance that might contain deadly ingredients. As was mentioned in other posts, fentanyl is often mixed with heroin to increase potency. The chemicals used to make synthetic drugs have unpredictable side effects, some of which can be deadly.
If you are addicted to drugs, seeking help is a lifesaving decision. Please contact 10 Acre Ranch today to end the cycle of addiction.