Many years ago if you want to buy a new shirt, you have to get off the couch and actually go to a mall and try it on. Now, with online shopping, you can have your purchases delivered right at your doorstep with just a few clicks on your phone or computer. But while technology has made many day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient, it has also become a gateway to easily access prohibited items like drugs.
Most people get their drugs from friends or someone they know. But for people who are trying to be secretive about their drug use, or even for first-time users, it could be difficult to safely find a dealer. However, with the increasing popularity of social media, drugs have become more accessible. You do not need to trawl the dark web, find a street dealer, or hit the nightclubs to get a drug fix – you just need to download an app and use the right hashtag to find a seller.
The Social Media Drug Den
Unlike the complexities involved in buying drugs from the dark web, purchasing from social media is pretty much a straightforward process. Buying from the dark web can be intimidating for a casual drug user especially since many law enforcement agencies are constantly monitoring these platforms. Plus, average people do not really know how to access these sites.
On the other hand, social media apps commonly used for buying drugs are also the same popular ones used by the general public. Chances are, you already have them in your smartphone anyway. Most sellers use Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, and Grindr to advertise their goods. They then switch to encrypted chatting apps like WhatsApp or Kik to complete the transactions.
For many people, especially teenagers, this may seem like a safer option than getting drugs from a random guy on a street corner. When you browse through Instagram or Snapchat, you can shop around anonymously as long as you want before making a decision to get in touch with a seller. This is not something you can openly do on the streets or in nightclubs. Social media can then give you a false sense of security that the seller is legit and you are in control of the deal.
Buying drugs on social media is also being preferred because of the speed of the transactions. For drug addicts who want to get drugs ASAP, social media apps allow them to buy from strangers instead of waiting for their regular dealer for supply.
The Dangers of Buying Drugs On Social Media
While buying on social media may seem like a “safer” option, this is actually the opposite. What many people do not realize is that there are also many different dangers involved in these types of transactions. Just because you see the numerous posts of sellers on Instagram and see how people are interacting with them do not really mean you know them. It’s very easy for drug dealers to use dummy emails and fake accounts. It is also very easy for them to delete these accounts and simply disappear so you won’t be able to track them anymore.
Because you’re buying from strangers, you don’t know whether you’re interacting with people who are just trying to bait you. Just recently, a boy who was trying to buy drugs on social media was robbed and stabbed in the chest by the two teenagers he was supposed to be buying from. According to the victim, he met the two teens on social media and agreed to meet them to buy drugs, however, when he got to the location, they demanded his property and stabbed him when he refused.
Aside from the profile of the drug sellers, another disturbing scenario is not really knowing what is in the drugs that you’re buying. Many drug dealers cut the drugs that they sell with other substances in order to extend the quantity and make more money. But in recent years, the practice of adding a deadly, potent substance called fentanyl to make the drugs stronger is becoming increasingly prevalent. The number of overdose deaths in the US caused by fentanyl is rising sharply and this is mostly caused by drug users not realizing that the drugs they are taking contain this substance.
When you buy drugs from strangers on social media, you are putting yourself at risk of ingesting fentanyl-laced drugs. Remember that the temporary thrill is not worth your life. If you are struggling with substance abuse or craving for a drug fix, turning to social media is not the answer.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more about our specialized modes of treatment.