The dangers of internet drug sales

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The internet is a very powerful tool.  So powerful, in fact, that it can kill.  I have read so many cases recently about deaths related to buying drugs online.  I’m not referring to online legitimate pharmacies that require prescriptions from legally registered and practicing doctors.  I’m referring to many websites that sell drugs, some that require prescriptions (but these websites do not ask for them) and some that are downright illegal.  These illegal drugs include those that are proscribed from being sold online, those that are banned, and those that are unknown.  “Unknown” are those that have not been studied, so their claims of safety and effectiveness are essentially unknown.

I have always cautioned people against using many over-the-counter herbal concoctions because many of them have not been tried and tested.  However, they are available as “supplements” and government agencies eventually get around to investigating one or two once in a while.  If they are sold in pharmacies, usually the pharmacists will have some idea of the safety of some of these herbals.  But the internet bypasses these safety barriers by selling directly to consumers.

Despite the intelligence of most online consumers, for whatever reason, they are taken in by these drug websites.  Perhaps, they feel that they are intelligent enough to self-diagnose and treat.  Or, perhaps, they have already been diagnosed by a doctor but feel they can self-treat.  Again, maybe they want to self-treat for a condition which they are uncomfortable discussing with a doctor.  They are more comfortable sitting in front of a computer and ordering drugs that claim they can treat whatever condition the user is looking for.

The products are relatively inexpensive and the advertising looks great.  When they receive the pills, they look, feel, smell harmless.  They take a pill and suffer no consequences.  But, unfortunately, it does not seem very effective either.  So they decide to take more.  Before you know it, they have overdosed.  Or, even worse, they suffer adverse reactions so severe they have to be hospitalised.  Though some have survived, others have suffered damage to the point that they are incapacitated, some have died.

There is no regulation of internet sales of drugs.  That’s why consumers need to be wary of these online drugs.  They are not worth risking your life for.  There is a now old adage, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”.  This is especially true about drug claims.  Never buy any medications online unless it is a legitimate pharmacy.

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