The Internet is a powerful resource for education, entertainment and business. Unfortunately, the Internet is also a haven for selling and buying all sorts of drugs without prescription. Websites offering to sell pain relievers, uppers, downers and steroids without a prescription can be readily found using search engines. Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that the Yahoo and Google search engines list websites that offer to sell highly addictive prescription drugs without prescription.
But buyer beware! These medications are illegal to possess without a valid prescription regardless of what the website might claim. Many "No Prescription Websites" mislead potential customers into thinking that they are legitimate by making false claims of legality. In fact, it is illegal to possess medications in the United States without a valid prescription.
Many no prescription websites ship counterfeit, expired or simply bad drugs from countries that provide little or no oversight or control. You don't know what you are getting when you deal with an online pill mill. In some cases, the website will simply take your money and send nothing at all.
Of even greater concern are the websites that actually ship the drugs without prescription. Medications such as opioids (such as Vicodin, codeine or oxycodone), sedatives like Xanax and Valium, and stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall) are potentially addictive and can easily be misused with disastrous results. Just because a drug comes in the form of a pill doesn't mean it is safe. There are more people abusing prescription drugs than heroin and cocaine combined.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to Internet-based drug dealing because they have grown up using the Internet and don't realize its potential risks. Somehow, professionally created websites provide an illusion of safety and professionalism. However, just because a website has the image of a doctor on it does not mean a doctor has had anything to do with the drug sales. Sadly, there are several reports of young people who have died from drugs they bought over the Internet without prescription.