The Dangers of Online Pharmacies

The proliferation of online pharmacies has made it much easier for prescription drug abusers to get large quantities of certain medications, but buying opiate medications over the Internet comes with some serious risks.

Some of the risks of using internet pharmacies:

  • Experts estimate that up to a third of the medications sold through online pharmacies are counterfeit.
  • Counterfeit drugs may contain different active ingredients, no active ingredients, or variable concentrations of active ingredients.
  • When taking medications bought from an unreliable online pharmacy, you can't be sure what drug or what dosage you are taking, which greatly increases the risks of adverse drug reactions or even overdose
  • Medication sold from overseas pharmacies may have been manufactured with little regard for patient safety, and may be contaminated with dangerous adulterants.
  • Ordering medications without consulting with a doctor increases your risks of adverse drug interactions and addiction.

How Can You Determine If an Online Pharmacy Is Legitimate?

The greatest risks associated with ordering medications online come from the use of unregulated, unprofessional, and often illegal pharmacies located outside of the United States.

Signs of a high-risk online pharmacy:

  • The pharmacy does not require a doctor's prescription to order prescription medications. This is illegal.
  • The pharmacy's website has no phone number or contact information other than an e-mail address.
  • The pharmacy's website advertises extremely low prices on medications.
  • The pharmacy's website has no pharmacist available to respond to queries about the medications it sells.

A Sign of Addiction

When they are addicted to opiates, people do things they wouldn't normally do -- such as order and use medications from a questionable online pharmacy.

If you are supplementing the amount of medication your doctor prescribes by doctor shopping or ordering from the Internet, you are abusing opiate medications, and you may be an opiate addict.

The dangers of counterfeit medications are very real. Don't order or consume medications that haven't been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and don't attempt to acquire medications from an illicit online pharmacy.

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