A Short History
As virtually everybody is probably aware, the drugs trade has not always been connected to the internet and even today only a small portion of the global market is located online.
As a matter of fact, what is today considered as illegal drugs were probably used as a medicine or a diet supplement some 50 years ago.
It was not until recently that many substances were deemed dangerous to human health and psyche to the point where their possession was punishable by law.
The other side of the story that is more probably is that governments declared the drugs illegal for their own gain and to serve the agenda of multinational drug corporations.
As with every product where there is demand, there will always be suppliers. The trading of drugs has become a lawless business and as such it attracted a lot of danger with it.
Faced with such a situation a community of like-minded people who believed in responsible and controlled use of drugs appeared.
The number one problem they had on their hands in order to talk about and buy drugs online was organizing a safe environment for communication since what they discussed about could land them a fair amount of prison time.
Enter Tor and hidden services on the Deep Web. It did not take a long time for such a community to accept the anonymous nature of Tor as the greatest asset in the battle to preserve their identity.
At first, various forums began to sprout, and it was soon evident that not only people with good intentions were visiting them.
Since there was not a centralized system to buy drugs online and protect the customers from scamming suppliers, many people refrained from using Darknet Markets as their go-to source of drugs.
What many consider a revolution regarding their dream to buy drugs online began in 2011 with the founding of Silk Road. Silk Road was not the first attempt for a centralized marketplace for illegal products (including drugs) and services, but it soon proved to be the most stable one.
It lasted for more than two years until it attracted too much attention of international anti-drug law forces which shut it down in late 2013.
The following years saw a lot of instability on Darknet, as many marketplaces raced to fill in a spot left behind by Silk Road and after some time there are a few strong contenders to the title.
As of today, there are numerous marketplaces of different sizes and philosophies where one can buy drugs online, and it is safe to say that the online drugs trade is only going to grow as the time and technology progress.
The Current State of Darknet Marketplaces
As of recently, there seems to be a sort of a temporary stability on Darknet as there are no prominent new marketplaces opening and the giants currently at the top of Darknet drugs trade are not facing issues.
There are quite a few marketplaces currently open on Darknet where one can buy drugs online, but five of them take up the biggest share in online drug trafficking.
With the shutdown of Agora marketplace, AlphaBay has managed to become and stay the largest marketplace specializing in selling drugs.
This marketplace is known for their many features which help users increase their privacy, protect them from scammers (although scamming is still a burning issue) and increase the comfort of use.
It is important to note that AlphaBay seems to be under constant criticism since its secondary focus is carding and credit card information trade.
The second largest place one can buy drugs online is the Darknet marketplace Silk Road 3.0. This marketplace has seen a lot of criticism from the general public as trying to cash out on the name, but it has managed to prove over time that it was a legitimately safe and reliable place to buy drugs online.
It has steadily increased in size since its opening and it has reached the point where it has over 30 thousand listings offered by some of the most reputable vendors on Darknet.
Following behind Silk Road 3.0, when it comes to size and number of products to choose from, is the Dream Market.
Dream Market is one of the oldest marketplaces where one can buy drugs online, and it has been around longer than most currently popular hidden services.
This should be taken as a strong sign of quality and integrity.
While not as big as Silk Road 3.0 or AlphaBay, many people prefer it thanks to its clean design and ease of use.
This should not be considered as a detriment, as many big vendors from before mentioned marketplaces have profiles set up on different marketplaces.
Valhalla was until recently a Finnish-only marketplace, and they have since expanded into an international business.
To commemorate this, they have changed their name from Silkkitie to Valhalla in order to appeal to the broader audience.
Given its Finnish roots, it should not come as a surprise that most of its community is based in Finland, but the international vendors are increasingly showing interest in this marketplace and are starting to open up profiles.
Outlaw, on the other hand, has been an international marketplace for the entirety of its existence, and the community present there stands as the proof of that.
Outlaw is widely considered one of the most secure places to buy drugs online, despite its design not being too pleasing to the eye.
Luckily, Outlaw admins are announcing a rework of the site design but are stating that user security is their primary concern while design takes a distant second place.
The last on the list of top Darknet drugs sources and the newest addition to the market is the Hansa marketplace.
Despite it being a relatively new marketplace, it received an overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Darknet community.
While there are a significantly lower number of vendors compared to other top marketplaces, it still manages to attract the attention of many customers mainly due to their security policy.
There are a few well-known and established vendors on Hansa which only serves to increase the amount of people returning to buy drugs online. And despite an increasing traffic, the reviews it receives are hardly ever negative.
Buying Prescription Drugs Online
Aside from being used by people to buy illicit drugs online, the Darknet marketplaces have allowed their users to have an easy access to prescription drugs.
It has recently become evident that large pharmaceutical companies are becoming more and more focused on profit without much care for any form of ethic conduct.
It has come to the point where they are using their influence to fund lawmakers and legislators in order to position themselves better in the marketplace. This has in turn made the prices of prescription drugs reach astounding amounts, especially in the US.
This coupled with the fact that many drugs are becoming harder to acquire due to them being classified as “easy to abuse” and the average person looking to buy some painkillers for their toothache is faced with extortionate prices if they are looking to stay within the bounds of the law.
It is for this reason that many vendors and even whole marketplaces who were used to selling drugs online, have switched their business model to prescription drugs trade.
While the prices are still not on the lower side of things, prescription drugs online are much more affordable and easier to acquire then buying them in a typical pharmacy in the US, since they do not require frequent visits to the doctor.
Safety Measures When Ordering on Darknet Marketplaces
The first, most obvious and unavoidable thing one will have to use to get access to Darknet marketplaces is a Tor browser. There is no other way to access hidden services or buy drugs online without using Tor.
That being said, Tor in itself is not perfect software, even more so since it started to attract the attention of anti-drug law enforcements.
Another thing to note is that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is always aware of your Tor usage which can be used against us in the worst case scenario.
It is for this reason that the use of a good VPN is highly advised, some would say even mandatory.
What “good” means when it comes to VPNs is whether they keep logs of their user’s activities, what payment method is allowed when using their services and which country are they situated in.
The third layer of protection one should consider using if they want to buy drugs online is Tails OS. Tails is a Debian-based Linux distribution created with the sole purpose of protecting its user’s identity.
When using Tails, it is advised that one boots it from the USB, as it opens the possibility of quickly getting rid of any data tied to the online purchase of drugs in extreme scenarios.
All that is needed is a 4GB or larger USB stick on which a Tails .iso is burned.
This covers most of the technical measures one should take a note off, but there are other things that need to be taken care of to ensure one’s safety in order to buy drugs online.
First and foremost, it is mandatory that we do a thorough research on the vendor when we decide to buy drugs online.
If we fail to do so, best case scenario is getting a bad product or getting scammed, while the worst case scenario can even be running into an undercover law enforcement officer.
Even when you do your homework on various vendors, it is still advisable to get a chemical test kit when ordering from an untested vendor.
Even respected vendors can have a bad batch of drugs and testing it beforehand can save us from some awful experiences.
While many different countries have different views on the use of drugs, in almost any country possession of substances that are deemed as illegal drugs by the law enforcement or an attempt to buy drugs online will get you a prison sentence and a monetary fine.
A standard penalty for possession of class A drugs in the UK (MDMA, Cocaine, Heroine, etc.) usually gets the sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
In case the court decides that the defendant had the intention of distributing said drugs, the punishment is a lifetime in prison and a monetary fine of indefinite value.
As far as US federal law goes, the prison sentence is always the penalty for drug possession. The duration of the prison sentence varies depending on the substance in question, the amount of drugs and whether the offense was a first one on the defendant’s record.
For example, possession of any none-cocaine-based drugs in any amount will yield a fine of at least $1000 USD and a prison sentence of up to 1 year.
In case the court determines that there was an intent of distribution of said drugs, the term of imprisonment can reach up to a lifetime in prison depending on the amount found in possession.
Asian countries are the strictest when it comes to drug laws, and almost any amount of any illegal drugs will be penalized by a minimum of 10 years in prison and the death penalty has been used in drug cases.
Drug Rehabilitation and Harm Reduction
The one exceedingly prominent good side when someone looks into how to buy drugs online is the accessibility to the community.
There are numerous forums that help people stay safe during drug use and even offer medical and harm reduction advice.
Couple this with the fact that the purity of drugs on Darknet is generally much higher than purity of drugs found on the streets and it becomes clear how much the Darknet community helps in harm reduction tied to the use of drugs.
There are even tips on how one can help themselves stop using drugs which are often backed up by personal experiences and even medical research.
The use of drugs has come a long way from movie-like scenes of shady deals on the streets or bloody gang conflicts, ever since it has become evident how easy it is to buy drugs online.
While the above mentioned are still very present, the drug trade is starting to make a shift to the virtual realm, mainly because it offers a more secure channel for distribution and an incredibly wider market.
Another reason to buy drugs online is the ease of marketing and accessibility to community offered by various anonymity measures.
These factors cannot even be taken into consideration when thinking about the traditional face-to-face way of selling and this is why people will continue to prefer to buy drugs online.