The opioid crisis continues unabated across the nation and a new source of supply is greatly complicating efforts to stem the tide of addiction and death.
What’s the new source of supply?
Health officials and police in every region of the country are now reporting an alarming rise in the number of overdoses and arrests involving the purchase of synthetic opioids including Fentanyl over the internet.
So the obvious question is “how’s it possible that authorities have been unable to choke off the flow of drugs from this source?”
Ever heard of the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is a place where buyers can visit anonymously using special browsers and virtual currencies like Bitcoin. And it is a source that is extremely difficult to track and police.
The rise of synthetic opioid drugs like Fentanyl is also adding to the challenge of controlling the flow of opioids over the web. The synthetic versions are known for their deadly efficiency and unlike bulkier opioid drugs, a quantity of Fentanyl able to fit in a #10 business size envelope is enough of the drug to get 50,000 people high.
Canada and a number of European countries are also reporting a rise in internet purchases of synthetic opioids.
Who’s responsible for the driving these Dark Web sales?
Most of the illicit supply of synthetic opioids is produced in labs in China, where many of the chemicals required to produce these drugs are either legal or easy to obtain.
To a degree, Latin American drug cartels are involved in moving these drugs from Asia to the United States. But the operational ease of selling the drugs over the internet and sending them through the mail gives the method obvious appeal for Chinese producers, many of whom are technologically skilled enough to set up their own dark web shops.
Can the Dark Web purchase option be stopped?
Sadly, according to law enforcement, the tools that enable dark web commerce make it very unlikely that the expanding traffic will be curtailed anytime soon.
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