Into the Dark: Opioids on the Dark Web
The use and distribution of synthetic opioids has unfortunately become easier than ever to obtain through the shadowy depths of the ‘dark web,’ making drugs such as fentanyl readily available to tens of thousands of customers. This synthetic heroin abuse crisis has recently been brought to light, making headlines across the nation, including a recent article in the New York Times. From Massachusetts to Florida, and all the states in between, the number of listings for fentanyl and carfentanyl on ‘dark web’ sites has been rising steadily, and is only expected to increase, creating new markets for people who might not have had easy access to it before. Tim Plancon, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio states that the dark web, “has come to play a key role in the overdose crisis. It’s expanded beyond just traditional drug smuggling and trafficking.”
The U.S. Postal Service is a key part of the delivery system, so in efforts to minimize dark web fentanyl sales, law enforcers have attempted to combat the rising problem by presenting legislation in Congress that will tighten the requirements on information gathered by the Postal Service. Last month ,at a Senate hearing on the problem, Postal Service officials said they were working to collect information on more packages coming from China. “(The dark web has) become such an important source of distribution for this sort of deadly drug,” said former prosecutor Kathryn Haun. “It has enabled distribution channels that previously didn’t exist.” Though there are dozens of Austin drug rehab services, it’s become increasingly difficult to battle this enemy without a face.
The common misconception was that dark web drug sales had dramatically decreased with the epic Silk Road bust in 2013, where the FBI and DEA came together to shut down the largest clandestine web operation for drugs, weapons, and murder-for-hires ever seen. But as time has gone on, more platforms like Silk Road have surfaced and given rise to a new era of bitcoin-fueled opioid distribution. Users have anonymously reported more risk and lower quality with these new platforms, but nevertheless still being used.
An investigation recently done by STAT predicts the annual death toll from opioids will rise by roughly 35% between 2015 and 2027, set to increase partially because of dark web opioid sales. Their analysis predicts up to 500,000 people could die from opioid abuse over the next decade. Taking a look further into the growing dark web opioid sales as well as these alarming predictions ever remind us here at Infinite Recovery, that our country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and the time for help is now. There is hope- We specialize in treatment for opioid addiction and recovery is possible.