A series of pills and pill bottles alongside cash

Drug overdoses took the lives of over 72,000 Americans in the year 2017 alone, which was an astonishing 10% increase over previous years. (1) The death toll for drug overdoses has eclipsed the yearly peak totals for gun deaths, HIV-related deaths, and automobile accidents, further highlighting the severity of the crisis. (2)

The drug problem in America is greatly fueled by the ready availability of substances: including online drug dealers. Here we take a look at the Dark Web and online drug dealers.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web refers to parts of the internet that can only be accessed using Different colored pills next to a computer screencertain software that provide anonymity. The Dark Web is not readily accessible like normal websites, nor is it reachable via search engines. (3)

The anonymity created by the Dark Web coupled with cryptocurrencies has led to a thriving new age black market for illegal goods. Certain Dark Web marketplaces sell nearly every substance of abuse, such as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, prescription pills, etc. (4)

These drugs are typically purchased via cryptocurrencies (such as BitCoin) and then mailed to the user’s home.

What do the numbers say?

The 2018 Global Drug Survey shed valuable light on just how serious the black marketplaces available on the Dark Web are in the current drug epidemic. The 2018 survey included 130,000 participants, and had the following important numbers to note (5):

  • 18.1% of illicit and prescription drugs abused were sourced from the Dark Web
  • 11.2% of participants in the survey reported lifetime Dark Web marketplace use for sourcing drugs
  • 9.3% of participants reported having used a Dark Web marketplace to source drugs within the past year

What are the dangers of using the Dark Web for drugs?

The Dark Web drug marketplaces can be incredibly dangerous for those who suffer from substance abuse disorders. The following are just some of the dangers:

  • The Dark Web can provide a false sense of security in purchasing illegal drugs since the user does not have to leave home to do it
  • Purchasing drugs online and having them mailed will typically greatly increase the potential for serious legal trouble
  • The Dark Web may provide access to drugs certain individuals may not be readily able to source in their geographical area
    What are the signs a loved one may be using the Dark Web to order drugs?
True Recovery

The following may indicate a loved one who has a substance problem may be using the Dark Web to order drugs:

  • Purchasing cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin
  • Opening a PO box for no apparent reason
  • Receiving packages on a regular basis
  • Going out and returning home with packages
  • Being over secretive about their computer

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/upshot/opioids-overdose-deaths-rising-fentanyl.html
  3. https://www.wired.com/2014/11/hacker-lexicon-whats-dark-web/
  4. https://juniperpublishers.com/jfsci/pdf/JFSCI.MS.ID.555766.pdf
  5. https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/gds-2018/