Internet and Drug Markets

EMCDDA has published a new report on “The Internet and Drug Markets” addressing questions such as: - How do online drug markets function? What technologies do they use? How do they relate to the traditional drug market? How can they be monitored and controlled? Highlighting that virtual markets have revolutionized everyday retailing the report claims that online drug markets have the potential to transform drug sales in the future.

 Over the last decade, virtual markets have been changing the dynamics of how drugs are bought and sold. Although it is estimated that most illicit drug transactions are still played out offline, online drug markets have the potential to transform drug sales in the future, in the same way as online shopping has revolutionised the retail experience. According to the report, a wide range of factors appear to be driving developments in internet drug markets ‘mostly linked to technology, globalisation and market innovation’. 

Alexis Goosdeel EMCDDA Director states:

“Whether in open drug scenes or a dealer’s flat, low-level drug sales have historically been associated with real people and real places. While most dealing remains firmly rooted in this physical world, virtual marketplaces are now expanding the boundaries of drug supply, offering wider options to potential buyers. This is a worrying development as digital literacy increases, technologies advance and the range of available drugs diversifies.”

Download the report 

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