According to the investigation of the Sunday People, a rapidly increasing number of young students in British high schools and colleges are purchasing antidepressants and illicit drugs on the dark web.
The investigation revealed that many students prefer to purchase both legal and illicit drugs on the dark web because of the lack of assistance school counselors provide. Several students that were found purchasing drugs on the dark web admitted that they did not want their treatment surfacing on their medical records.
Local sources and news publications including the UK-based Mirror also reported that students have been regularly using the nation’s largest dark web chatroom to discuss methods to purchase drugs and have them delivered in remote areas through anonymous addresses. The Mirror noted that the chatroom has been used by millions of young students for many years who have been struggling to deal with depression and stress stemming from their anxiety of leaving their home, friends, job security and financial stability.
Some of the transcripts of the chatroom obtained by the Mirror read:
“All of them have side effects but I am willing to try anything right now. Does anyone have any advice on these?” Another student stated “I don’t want it to be on my record. I can deal with it myself if I can get antidepressants.” Many students demonstrated their willingness to participate in dark web marketplaces rather than assisting help from experts. “I don’t want to go the doctor for anxiety meds although I’d get them for free. I’d rather buy them online. Is it possible for me to buy them here and what ones are good?”
Increasing dark web activity amongst young students have led to several fatalities over the past week. Most recently, University of Hull computer science student David Connell passed away after overdosing himself with antidepressants he purchased on the dark web.
On the dark web and anonymous marketplaces, it is possible for young students to make bulk purchases of drugs such as antidepressants without prescriptions from doctors. The vast majority of students and buyers on the dark web are fully aware that purchasing drugs over the dark web is illegal. Still, due to its simplicity, students would rather opt to obtain drugs on the dark web.
Amy Sharpe, a journalist for the Mirror, explained that it took a couple of messages including the type of drug and address for her to obtain fairly large amounts of antidepressants on the dark web which would otherwise not be given through regulated channels.
“Five days later an envelope with a Royal Mail First Class stamp arrived containing three packs of 10 of the 20mg pills – a typical first dose a doctor might prescribe. There was no box and no instructions on how many to take or when to take them,” said Sharpe.
In an interview with Sharpe, health experts including health charity Mind head of information Stephen Buckley explained that it is worrying that students rely on the dark web and the internet to deal with mental stress, anxiety and health issues. Buckley further emphasized that it is developing into a concerning trend, which the UK government is attempting to stop.
In previous coverages, DeepDotWeb extensively covered the efforts of the UK government to decrease dark web activity of young adults, mainly due to the active involvement of the dark web in recent terrorist attacks that targeted London. More to that, UK government agencies expressed their concerns over the exponential growing demand for illicit drugs on the dark web that have caused many deaths over the past six months.
In June, DeepDotWeb also reported that a staggering 25 percent of UK drug users rely on the darknet as their main supplier and distributing platform. In response to the growing dark web activity in the country, London authorities and police condemned citizens and residents that have been using the dark web. The National Counter Terrorism Policing Network described the mere act of visiting the dark web as a sign of terrorism.