NEW YORK (CBS 2)
From clothing to books and groceries, it seems like there isn’t much that you can’t find on the Internet these days.
And that might include illegal drugs.
Cocaine and even heroin are readily available for online purchase and home delivery.
Among the usual bills and junk mail, one woman recently found a strange package in her mailbox addressed to her son. The priority mail envelope contained a shocking special delivery, heroin.
“In a sense the mailman is acting as a courier,” the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.
The brazen new black market allows customers to order heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, and even steroids, from the comfort of their own homes, according to experts.
One woman’s 21-year-old son has a history of drug abuse and was under house arrest when he ordered the package. The man showed CBS 2’s cameras one of his favorite drug sites and said that he paid using a money wire transfer.
“Everything on here is generally more expensive than you’d pay on the street,” he said.
More expensive? Yes, but far easier to acquire. Point and click today and the drugs can be delivered within 24 hours.
Experts said that this easy method of scoring drugs makes abuse a much bigger problem.
“How a drug is obtained is very much correlated with how much it is abused,” explained Dr. Peter Provet, president of Odyssey House, a substance abuse treatment center. “We sense that it’s becoming more problematic, particularly due to its anonymity.”
That anonymity has acted as a roadblock for law enforcement agencies trying to crack down on these websites, many of which are suspected to be located overseas.
“My understanding is there is software that makes it difficult to trace the origin of the computer systems,” Dr. Provet said. “My hope is there is enough effort to bring that much more investigation to target the problem.”
That problem is quickly causing the families of addicts to lose hope in the battle against drugs.
“People need to know that this is a way for people who are addicts to get their hands on drugs that can kill them,” the earlier 21-year-old’s mother said.
The U.S. Postal Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration said that they are well aware of the sites and are investigating.