An investigative report reveals that more people are buying recreational drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine online, partly because it is much cheaper than buying them on the street, where the price of drugs in Africa is higher. On drug habits, study shows a rapid increase over the past tow years in the number of people who buy their drugs online using sites which for ethical reasons I won’t share here.Methamphetamine is plentiful and affordable in Africa due to the proximity to source countries like Nigeria and South Africa. Most methamphetamine sold online comes in crystal form.There are meth pills of course, sold as pills.Online that pill goes for $1, on the street $4 on average which I thought is a ludicrous price having in mind more than three quarters of African population are jobless and can barely afford a meal of $0.50.The availability of drugs online had both led to an increase in the number of Africans using recreational drugs and also shifted a portion of users to a new marketplace. The reason African are using the internet is really dissatisfaction with the existing drug markets. For example Kenyan cocaine users are said to prefer Brazilian and Colombian cocaine which is said to be pure while in Nigeria and Ghana, Peru is the main source market for cocaine.African are arguably among the smaller users of prescription drugs compared to other parts of the world, the prevalence of synthetic cannabis use is high and those who used it were more likely to seek emergency treatment than those using herbal cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy or ketamine.No doubt ecstasy is resoundingly the party circuit, with powder more popular than pills as the favourite drug in Africa.Ecstasy that Africans could buy online for $100 a gram is good enough to sell for $300 a gram, in the streets of Nairobi, Cape Town or Abuja.The biggest dealers are found on Chinese, South African and Nigerian websites that serve as middlemen between pharmaceutical manufacturers cranking out new psychoactive substances and their eager wholesale customers around Africa. Africans who like to buy their drugs online, without all the hassle of going to sketchy streets and meeting face-to-face with drug dealers, are taking note. It certainly is convenient to have high-quality marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy or methamphetamine delivered directly at the user doorstep.
Africa’s online drug selling business continues apace, with law enforcement playing an unending game of catch-up with ever vigilant site administrators especially those based in Nigeria and South Africa. Data shows that for every site that gets busted in South Africa, three more pop up within a day or two.Websites in Yoruba and Zulu are built with browser translators that can deal with language barrier better and faster than other language translators tools available online. They offer unlimited selection of illegal and prescription drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, ketamine, Valium and heroin. And the prices are highly competitive mainly those in Nigeria. In Nigerian websites, MDMA goes for 100 for $300 which is cheaper than South Africa where 100 goes for $450. A gram of crystal meth, 95% pure, goes for about $90 in Nigeria and $110 in South Africa websites. However, its not all that smooth for drug users going online to buy. One case in Pretoria South Africa saw a man admitted to hospital for treatment because of Nyaope overdose. It was found to contain the drug that can cause heart problems. In another case, a Kenyan university woman was left half blind after she bought online a synthetic marijuana that went horribly wrong. The result was grotesquely ballooned eyes and plenty of visible abscesses on her body.In conclusion, the reality facing Africa is that drug users will always find way to satisfy their need whether they buy the drugs through surface websites or deep websites. For those who don’t know, surface websites are those that can be identified using web searches while deep web is where transactions are encrypted, Nigerian and South African cryptomarket vendors sell a wide variety of illicit drugs such as ecstasy, opioids and, particularly, methamphetamine. On average, cannabis is the most popularly traded drug by domestic cryptomarket vendors followed by ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine and opioids like heroin.The recent law enforcement crackdowns in countries like Tanzania and Kenya on the drugs trade, and the involvement of violent organised crime groups in distribution, it is possible that people selling drugs online find it less risky and costly to sell these drugs anonymously online rather than via conventional means.It’s not possible to work out how often, and in what amounts, illicit and emerging substances are being purchased online in Africa. But such a regular drug investigative reports like the one your blogger got will help understand the drugs problems in Africa. Given the potential for the internet to influence the nature of illicit drug markets in Africa, continued investigation of its usage is critical.