Whether seeking Suboxone for recreational use or addiction recovery, many are turning to the internet to get the drug. Online “pharmacies” and marketplaces on the dark web are advertising cheap Suboxone and offering to deliver it right to a purchaser’s doorstep.
Ordering Suboxone from these sources is not safe. They are not legitimate pharmacies, and they likely sell fake Suboxone. The drug could be cut with other dangerous substances, and it could lead to overdose and even death.
Suboxone is a brand-name drug used to treat opioid dependence. Suboxone, which is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is also an opioid, but it is milder than the most commonly abused opioids like heroin or OxyContin. In individuals who are dependent on opioids, it stabilizes their opioid receptors as it prevents withdrawal and opioid cravings.
As opioid use and overdose have skyrocketed to epidemic proportions in the U.S., Suboxone treatment has grown in popularity, providing hope to individuals looking for a more accessible and effective opioid addiction treatment.
Suboxone appeals to many because it’s available to patients directly with a prescription, unlike methadone, which is usually administered in a medically supervised setting. Because of its mild effects and the fact that its effects plateau, overdoses on Suboxone are relatively rare.
While Suboxone requires a doctor’s prescription, some people seek it out from other sources. They can’t receive a Suboxone prescription because of a history of selling or misusing opioids, or they may simply not have a trusted doctor or be willing to admit to anyone that they have a problem with opioids.
Some people have trouble finding treatment for their opioid addiction, and they seek out Suboxone as a form of self-medication to avoid painful opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Others may be seeking Suboxone for recreational use. It’s become a popular illicit drug in many circles and may be combined with other pills or substances, which can be extremely dangerous. Because of its lower risk of overdose and availability in easy-to-take formats, some consider it a safer and more accessible opioid option.
While ordering Suboxone online may seem like a safe and convenient option for many, many risks are involved.
Online pharmacies and dark web drug marketplaces run illegally, meaning they’re completely unverified and unregulated. The drugs they send to consumers are untested and may come from illegal drug manufacturers. They may also be expired, or they may have been stored incorrectly, affecting the quality and even safety.
When a consumer orders Suboxone online, they could receive literally anything — over-the-counter medications, sugar pills, or anything else. The individual has no way of demanding a refund since the transaction itself was illegal.
Because online pharmacies and drug marketplaces are unregulated and their products untested, they can also send users other drugs disguised as Suboxone. Suboxone is an opioid, so there is a risk that illicit drug manufacturers will use fentanyl — a highly potent opioid responsible for many overdoses — in counterfeit Suboxone. The presence of fentanyl in a counterfeit Suboxone pill greatly increases the chance of overdose and death.
Suboxone is known as a safer alternative to most opioids, but it is possible to overdose on the drug, especially when it is combined with other substances. As Suboxone that is sold online is unregulated, the strength of the drugs received from these sources can be highly unpredictable, even varying from one dose to the next. This increases the risk of overdose and dependency.
Buying a controlled substance like Suboxone online is illegal and can result in criminal charges. Today, law enforcement and government officials are more aware of these online sources and taking steps to halt the distribution and delivery of illegally sourced controlled substances, particularly opioids like Suboxone.
Recently, the Senate investigated online pharmacies. Efforts by federal and local authorities to shut down illegal pharmacies and seize drug deliveries have been ongoing. Even delivery services like FedEx and UPS are reporting packages from known online drug pharmacies rather than delivering them.