How Online Pharmacies Are Creating Drug Addicts
Online pharmacies are nothing new, but they are now operating under the false pretence of appearing to be more reputable – giving the illusion that any medication purchased from them is safe to take.
With a click of a button, you can add any medication to your shopping cart and THEN have a free consultation with a doctor. The consultation doesn’t ask about your medical history or any other medications that you are taking. It only asks why you need the medication.
Ultimately, you have decided which medication you need, not the doctor, who is only effectively there to approve your choice.
For reasons that are obvious to many, these online pharmacies are extremely dangerous – Not only are they creating drug addicts but they are also keeping them supplied with dangerously addictive prescription-only drugs including powerful opiate drugs and valium.
Can An Addict Be Created?
You may ask this valuable question: Can an addict actually be created?
We feel that in some cases, it can. At the very least, an addict can certainly be enabled. Picture this:-
You are unable to sleep at night and have suffered many sleepless nights, and you feel run down, are struggling at work and become anxious at bedtime. Your GP has perhaps previously prescribed a short course of sleeping tablets which temporarily relieved the problem.
Would you be tempted to buy medication online if it meant you could finally get a decent night’s sleep?
For many, the answer would be no. They would simply return back to their doctor or possibly look at more natural remedies, but for others, the solution would lie in purchasing sleeping tablets online. But how does this create an addict?
The answer lies in the pleasure/reward system. Just having you’re purchased approved by the online pharmacy would bring immense relief to any individual that is struggling physically or mentally.
In someone who has addictive tendencies, the brain’s pleasure/reward system would be activated, releasing an influx of naturally occurring feel-good chemicals into the brain. In an addict, the high is already created before the drug is in their hands. The mere confirmation that the drugs are on their way is enough to stimulate their brain.
Here lies the problem, once you have purchased once, the temptation to purchase again can be overwhelming. You know there is a solution to your problem, and you know how easy it is to access. Resisting this can be very difficult if you are an individual predisposed to developing an addiction.
Online Pharmacies Are An Addicts Shopping Paradise
Latest statistics supplied by the Office of National Statistics UK (ONS) suggests that the individuals purchasing medications illicitly are not whom you would expect. The average shopper is female and aged between 35 and 44. Most women by this age have children and a career – hardly your “typical” drug addict.
In the UK, there has been a growing concern over the number of opiate drugs being purchased from UK pharmacy sites. Potent opioids such as Fentanyl, Morphine, Oxycodone, Tramadol and Codeine are issued without doctors professional protocols being followed.
Furthermore, once a purchase has been made from such a drug selling site, follow up emails of “special offers” are continually sent to the purchaser, tempting them into further purchases.
It is no coincidence that as opiate deaths have risen in the UK, so have online opiate sales.
Research commissioned by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC), who are responsible for regulating the purchase of prescription-only medications, found that 25% of people say they are likely to use online pharmacies in future, but 50% of those unlikely to do so have concerns about the safety of online pharmacies.
Will New Online Safeguarding Rules Stop Prescription Meds Addiction?
Due to the rapidly increasing sales of pharmaceutical drugs from online companies, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) has had to step in. The GPC announced new safeguarding measures for online pharmacies last month.
The safeguards announced by the GPC include:
- Pharmacy websites are obliged not to allow patients to choose a prescription-only medication and its quantity before a doctors consultation has taken place.
- Pharmacy website staff are obliged to follow protocols to identify requests for medicines that are inappropriate, including identifying multiple orders to the same address.
- Pharmacy websites are obliged to conduct a more meticulous process to carry out identity checks on people ordering prescription-only medications.
GPC’s chief executive Duncan Rudkin has said of the new safeguarding measures:
“People can be put at serious risk if they are able to obtain medicines that are not appropriate for them. We are now putting in place this updated guidance with further safeguards to protect people.”
The question is – Will these new regulations protect addicts and what will happen to those that have already manifested an addiction through online drug purchases of highly addictive drugs?
In our opinion, as a company that has helped thousands of addicts to access reputable and regulated professional addiction treatment, we think not.
Our experience and professional knowledge tell us that addicts will go to extraordinary lengths to access the drugs they crave. Sadly for some of those who already have an addiction to prescription opiates, this will mean turning to illicit street drugs.
Government statistics suggest that as many as 80% of Class A illicit opiate users start off using or abusing prescription opioids. Once addicted to opiates, if one source of supply is cut off, an addict will find another, even if that means turning to illicit street drugs.
The new regulations are not foolproof either. There is nothing to stop an individual from creating a number of different accounts or using many online pharmacies. The fact that these online drug stores thrive off addicts, are they really going to implement stringent regulations that could mean the end of their business?
Help For Prescription Medication Addiction
If you or a loved one are struggling with an opiate or prescription medication addiction, we can help.
Detox Plus UK work with a number of reputable private CQC registered and regulated drug detox clinics and rehab centres across the UK that can help you to detox from any prescription medication and stay clean in the long run.
Addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence, contact us today for more information on our bespoke drug detoxes and rehabilitation programmes.
General Pharmaceutical Council