The Internet – A Drug Candy Store!
“The Internet has become a pharmaceutical candy store - offering a high to any kid with a credit
card at the click of a mouse" - Joseph A. Califano Jr., National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse, chair and president. The number of websites advertising and selling
controlled prescription drugs like Oxycontin, Valium and Xanax has grown dramatically, over
130%, since 2006. There are basically "no controls" on the sale of controlled substances via the
internet. Stopping the sale of controlled substances on the internet is no easy task. Many of
these websites and their counterfeit drug manufacturers are based outside of the United States.
Without the cooperation of certain foreign governments - combined with a concerted effort by
our own government's enforcement agencies, plus the cooperation of internet providers and
credit card companies, the sale of controlled substances via the internet will continue to
escalate. All efforts so far to shut down this very lucrative and illegal business has fallen short.
Most websites (over 80%) do not even require the buyer to have a doctor's prescription to make
a purchase. Sadly, a large % of these illegal online drug purchases are made by our teenagers
looking to get high. Sales of Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, Oxycontin and Ambien have skyrocketed -
these are easier to acquire over the internet than they are through local street drug dealers.
Parents need to recognize that their children have access to recreational drugs via the internet
whether they live in the inner city, the suburbs or in a small town far from a street drug dealer.
The Dangers! – You do not know what you are getting! A website may look legitimate and
sophisticated but it may sell counterfeit drugs that look exactly like real FDA-approved ones.
Unregulated drugs may be manufactured in laboratories or processing facilities that have
inadequate control standard - the pills may have inconsistent formulation, be too weak, too
strong or contain substitute or harmful additives - labeling may be inadequate, incorrect or may
not list important drug interaction warnings. You could die! Some already have.
What to look out for : 1) Do not buy from websites that do not require proof that you have a
doctor’s prescription 2) Do not buy from sites that are not affiliated with a pharmacy that is
licensed by a State Board of Pharmacy. Medications purchased from sources other than state
licensed pharmacies may be at worst unsafe or at least ineffective. You can visit www.napb.info
for a state board contact list 3) Do not purchase medicines that are not prescribed to you by
your own doctor. Dosages, drug interactions and other suitability issues must be considered
carefully. A medicine that helps one patient could kill another 4) If you do order from the
internet, before taking any medication purchased, carefully examine the packaging and the
drugs appearance- color, texture and shape – if it looks different from what you normally take,
discard it. If it tastes different –spit it out! You may have saved a few bucks but is it worth the
risk. If you are a teenager taking the internet purchase to get high – you are literally playing
Beware of your selections from the “Internet Drug Candy Store”. The taste may not be so sweet!
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