Adolescent Addiction:

Drug Dealers in Your Home

The Internet is a powerful resource for education, entertainment and business. Unfortunately, the Internet is also a haven for selling and buying all sorts of drugs without prescription. Websites offering to sell pain relievers, uppers, downers and steroids without a prescription can be readily found using search engines. Studies conducted found that Yahoo and Google search engines list websites that offer to sell highly addictive prescription drugs without prescription.

But buyer beware! These medications are illegal to possess without a valid prescription regardless of what the website might claim. Many “No Prescription Websites” mislead potential customers into thinking that they are legitimate by making false claims of legality. In fact, it is illegal to possess medications in the United States without a valid prescription.

Many no prescription websites ship counterfeit, expired or simply bad drugs from countries that provide little or no oversight or control. You don’t know what you are getting when you deal with an online pill mill. In some cases, the website will simply take your money and send nothing at all.

Of even greater concern are the websites that actually ship the drugs without prescription. Medications such as opioids (such as Vicodin, codeine or oxycodone), sedatives like Xanax and Valium, and stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall) are potentially addictive and can easily be misused with disastrous results. Just because a drug comes in the form of a pill doesn’t mean it is safe. There are more people abusing prescription drugs than heroin and cocaine combined.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to Internet-based drug dealing because they have grown up using the Internet and don’t realize its potential risks. Somehow, professionally created websites provide an illusion of safety and professionalism. However, just because a website has the image of a doctor on it does not mean a doctor has had anything to do with the drug sales. Sadly, there are several reports of young people who have died from drugs they bought over the Internet without prescription.

Some interesting SA Stats:

Established in 1996 by the SA Medical Research Council and the Department of Psychology at the University of Durban-Westville, SACENDU is a network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers. They collect data from registered treatment facilities in South Africa and analyse the information. The below information looks at numbers, emerging trends and risk factors associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

 

This information is based on 10 197 patients seen across 64 treatment centres / programmes.

  • Cannabis is the dominant substance of abuse in Gauteng, KZN, Limpopo and Mpumalanga
  • Alcohol is the dominant substance of abuse in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and South west
  • Treatment admissions for heroin remained stable, but injection use of heroin has increased substantially in Gauteng from 12% to 21%
  • Over the Counter (codeine and prescription meds such as tranquilisers) continue to rise
  • An increasing number of admissions are HIV positive
  • Cannabis is reported as the primary drug of abuse by the majority of patients who are younger than 20 years’ old
  • Treatment of cocaine related problems have decreased, and is mostly reported as a secondary substance of abuse.