Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Is Your Son’s Computer His Drug Dealer?

A watchdog group named Digital Citizens Alliance launched an investigation into how difficult it would be for a teenager to purchase prescription medications online. The results of the investigation were shocking enough to propel the study into the media spotlight and gain the attention of parents nationwide.

A teenage boy called several online “pharmacies” to make a purchase and though he admitted to having no prescription, to being a minor, and to using his father’s credit card, he still managed to get whatever he wanted – including highly addictive prescription painkillers.

Tom Galvin is the executive director of Digital Citizens Alliance. He said: “What we learned in our investigation is overseas pharmacies don’t care if you have a prescription and they don’t really care how old you are. The main thing that they want is your credit card number or Western Union, so they can sell the drugs.”

LegitScript is another group that follows online pharmacies, and John Horton works for the company. Says Horton: “It is disturbingly easy to find a rogue Internet pharmacy that will sell you a prescription drug without a prescription. Research shows that 97 percent of Internet pharmacies are not operating legitimately and most of those do not require a prescription at all.”

What many parents may not know is that legal ramifications exist for the both the seller and the buyer of online medications that are sold without a prescription. While the company selling the “product” may exist overseas and be a seasoned dodger of legal complications, it is likely that the average teenager would not be so savvy. Thus the teen assumes much more risk than the company when it comes to legal prosecution.

The Synthetic Drug Threat

It’s not just prescription drugs that are easily accessible to teens only. Synthetic substances can also be obtained with just a few clicks of the mouse and a credit card number. Teens can order packages designed to look like anything but drugs. They arrive in brightly colored packages and labeled with deceptively clever nicknames like:

  • Scooby Snax: A Potpourri Product
  • Mister Nice Guy
  • Purple Diesel
  • Bath Salts
  • Ivory Wave
  • Incense

To most parents, the packages would not necessarily raise concern as they are packaged to look like candy. Do not be deceived, however: Synthetic drugs are dangerous chemical compounds whose use comes with serious health consequences and pose a serious addictive threat. The health consequences that can arise from synthetic drug use may include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive processing deficiency
  • Addiction
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Lethal overdose

Help Your Son Fight Back Against Drug Use and Abuse

The synthetic drug threat may be new to adults but it is old news to teens. Experts report that one in nine high school students admit to trying synthetic drugs. If your son has an addiction to synthetic or prescription medication or if he abuses these substances, don’t wait to call us here at Muir Wood. We’re standing by to assist you.