Owners of websites on the dark web say that they’ve decided to voluntarily ban fentanyl, according to the National Crime Agency based in the UK. The “open air” online drug outlets have done this in a bid to avoid additional scrutiny as reports from the US, and the UK show that fentanyl is now causing the most overdose deaths each year.
In the UK alone, 180 deaths in 18 months were attributed to fentanyl, while in the US, fentanyl overdoses doubled in 2016 to outpace heroin and Oxycontin.
Several large drug-dealing websites have also quietly“de-listed” fentanyl because they don’t want to be investigated when there is an overdose death, according to Vince O’Brien, an investigator at the UK National Crime Agency.
So-called dark web markets have popped up in recent years and have become a reliable source for drug dealers to get their supply. Users place an order using bitcoins, which allow some anonymity when both are buying and selling the products. Many opioids are sold in powder form and shipped to the US where somebody then mixes them and uses a pill press to shape them into pills. In many cases, this is when the fentanyl is incorporated into the product. However, some people have ended up with tainted pills without knowing it. Drug dealers, who may not even use the drug, are potentially exposed to fentanyl if they order it online. For people who don’t use any opioids, it can be dangerous or even deadly to come into contact with the amount that could fit on the tip of a pen or pencil.
While US Customs and Border Control seize thousands of pounds of heroin every year, there are no statistics currently available on the website specifying the attempted importation of drugs.
Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, which is why it leaves some people in peril when they use it. It’s recommended that anyone who takes or uses opioids carry Naloxone, and opioid-antagonist drug, in case of overdose.
Treatment is always available for anyone with a fentanyl or other drug problem. Please look through our directory and get help if you need. Recovery is a path for anyone who wants it!