The death of 16-year-old Isobel Narayan highlights a new danger within the online drugs market. Isobel was at the top of her class in Physics and the daughter of a judge but sadly like many other people her age, she suffered from low self-esteem. The teenager was found dead in her family home in December 2011 by her parents.
Last week an inquest revealed that the student bought a drug over the internet to take her own life – the drug is used in America as a lethal injection for those on Death Row. It is thought that Isobel found solace on a dark side of the internet that offered tips on suicide and which drugs would kill her.
This tragedy shows how easy it is for anyone to trawl the internet and buy any substance they want from unregulated sites. Young people can now purchase a wide range of drugs with ease, often without their parents having any idea. Sadly, as the coroner Nigel Meadows admits – policing the problem is virtually impossible.
Teenagers now send party invitations complete with links to online drug sites. New strains of legal highs are also making their way onto the streets, with up to 40 new drugs recorded in the past year alone.
In October 2012 over 18,000 of these drug websites were closed across 100 countries following a crackdown conducted by Interpol. The only problem with this however, is that even closed websites can spring up again after a quick tweak of their domain name.
Buying from these unregulated sources poses a risk to public health according to Lynda Scammell, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
“When you buy medicines from an unregulated source you don’t know what you’re getting, where it came from or if it’s safe to take. The dose could be too high or too low, or the ingredients could break down incorrectly in the body. Illegal suppliers do not adhere to quality control or standards that are required in the licensed trade. If people could see the filthy conditions some of these medicines are being made, stored and transported in, they wouldn’t touch them.”
If you are suffering from drug addiction, low self-esteem or suicidal thoughts, speaking to a counsellor will be far more helpful to you than turning to the internet. For more information and to find a counsellor in your area, please follow the links.
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