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Digital Citizens Action Alliance

Blog: A Cyber Safe World


Internet Drugs: Why and How to Protect Your Family
By Garth Bruen on June 10, 2013

Drugs can be miracles and drugs can kill, it is a fine line. The Insulin that diabetics depend on is made from a strain of the deadly E Coli bacteria; OxyContin is a godsend for pain sufferers and a nightmare for addicts; heroin was originally used to treat patients for morphine withdrawal. These are just a few examples of how something good can easily go bad.  It took decades for society to put protective layers between consumers and dangerous substances. These layers have been completely stripped away in five years by the Internet. Scientists create them, manufacturers perfect them, inspectors test them, doctors prescribe them, and pharmacists dispense them. While some may wonder why all these layers should stand between me and a personal choice, the reason is simple: you are putting a complex chemical in your body. The traditional medical establishment comes with something rogue online pharmacies do not: and audit trail. If something goes wrong with a drug issued through legal channels there is a vast framework of accountability in place. With Internet drugs, you have zero recourse as the phantom parties will be long gone when you get sick. You have to stand in the middle for yourself and your family.


We have clearly seen through cited examples that many of the best known Internet companies have completely abandoned any responsibility. When asked by the White House to participate in a discussion of the online drug problem, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) declined to appear[i], so it is up to you. If you are concerned about your teens getting involved in steroids, look to parents who have. The Taylor Hooton Foundation ( is named for a promising young man whose world was lost to steroids. The site has a section of real stories of loss that may help others avoid the same fate.[ii] These stories are not about young people lost to street addiction, but kids who were seen as being the best of the best in their communities. It can happen to anyone. Dr. Sharon Levy of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital tells us that "Involved parents are the first line of defense against substance abuse[iii], “and your doctor can be the next line. Consulting with your child’s physician can prevent them ending up at the police station or the emergency room. It’s not parental paranoia; it’s just about asking the questions and being open to talk about it with kids. Teenagers may get annoyed and angry at such intrusions, but they will take away from it the fact that you care. Knowing what you are up against as a parent can help alleviate your fears. Visit the national poison control site at This site has all the updated information on substances and where to get help. Remember, there is always something you can do and always someone willing to help.






For more information on this issue please reference the links below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources from the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP)




June 18, 2013 by Sue Scheff | Huffington Post

 “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people in America overdose from prescription drugs than from heroin and cocaine combined. The fact that prescription drugs can be easily purchased from online pharmacies without a doctor's prescription is a major concern, especially for parents of teenagers…”



June 14, 2013 by Melissa Anderson | KTVQ MTN News- Billings, MT

" Buying prescription drugs online is on the rise nationwide, especially among teens, and not only can it be dangerous, it can also be illegal. An internet watchdog group called the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) is warning parents to beware of what their teens are buying online…”



June 12, 2013 | WZZM 13- Grand Rapids, MI

“More teenagers are getting their hands on prescription drugs and deterring them isn't as easy as monitoring your own medicine cabinet anymore. Controlled medications can be just a few computer clicks away. Recently, a 15-year-old from Maryland turned to the Internet to buy prescription painkillers…”



June 10, 2013 by Jessica Doyle | WUSA9- Washington, DC

“More teenagers are getting their hands on prescription drugs and deterring them isn't as easy as monitoring your own medicine cabinet anymore. Controlled medications can be just a few computer clicks away…”



May 15, 2013 | Fox 25- Boston, MA

“The Digital Citizens Alliance has been studying the issue of illicit online pharmacies for months, using investigators to prove how easy it is for anyone of any age to buy narcotics online without a prescription. In January, a 15-year-old working for the alliance was able to place phone orders with two online pharmacies for powerful painkillers, even after providing his age…”


To learn more about Digital Citizens Alliance, and to read our report on Google, YouTube & Evil Doers, please click here.

Main Teens Scams Fakes Drugs   |  

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