A popular darknet marketplace has announced that it has prohibited the sale of fentanyl after a dramatic rise in the number of deaths related to fentanyl overdose in the last two years.
According to NBC, in Philadelphia, there has been a 636 percent increase in overdoses from the medical-grade opioid fentanyl.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which belongs to the same family as morphine, heroin, and oxycontin, but is 50 times stronger than medical-grade heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
Fentanyl-Related Overdoses Connected to Darknet
It seems, however, that there is a connection between fentanyl-related deaths and darknet markets. In many of the cases, which law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are aware of, opiate or opioid products are laced with fentanyl.
In heroin overdose cases, a buyer taking the appropriate amount of heroin they are used to may not know that the drug they have bought is laced with a potent mixture of fentanyl.
Darknet Marketplace Removes Fentanyl
In a bid to maintain the safety of its users’, one online marketplace that has forbidden the sale of fentanyl is Darknet Heroes League (DHL).
It stated that:
Due to recent deaths and the threat to customers’ well-being, we’ve come to the decision that starting today (08/19/16) we will no longer allow the sale of fentanyl and its related analogues on our market. We’ve given all vendors that sell this product a 48-hour notice to remove the product from their listings or possibly lose their ability to vend. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.
Rise of the Online Drugs Trade
According to a report by RAND Europe, the number of illegal drugs transactions online has tripled with the U.S. leading the way with 35.9 percent of total drug revenues, followed by the U.K. with 16.1 percent.
Even though fentanyl is an incredibly strong drug it can be used safely medicinally and recreationally by users. The main issue, however, is with darknet vendors who utilize fentanyl analogs to cut their fentanyl such as with carfentanyl. This is 100 times stronger than medical-grade fentanyl.
It remains to be seen, though, whether or not measures by marketplaces will have an impact on what is a prevalent problem that will certainly effect more states than Philadelphia.
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