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Purchasing medications through a verified, licensed online pharmacy ensures that the site is regulated under both state and federal laws. Under these stringent circumstances in addition to holding a valid prescription from a medical doctor, the purchase of medications online can be a safe and convenient alternative to going to a brick and mortar store. However, in any iteration that diverges from the aforementioned circumstance, there can be innumerable dangers to purchasing drugs online. The purchase of any illicit drug from an online source brings severe risk to both the consumer and retailer. Buying medications without a valid prescription and/ or from an unlicensed website can also carry significant potential risk, legal and otherwise. 

Is It Legal?

According to the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration), depending on the situation, purchasing drugs online may be illegal. The federal law prohibits the purchase of any controlled substance (including sedatives, narcotic pain relievers, anabolic steroids, stimulants…etc.) without a valid prescription from one’s doctor. Prescriptions provided by cyber doctors do not qualify, as they are not considered legitimate under federal law. The penalty for purchasing controlled substances online without a valid prescription can be imprisonment. Many online retailers of illicit drugs come from foreign countries, and importing drugs from other countries is a felony in the U.S.   


Pharmacy Today addresses some of the potential risks associated with purchasing medications online. Although there are many different options for individuals to research their own potential ailments over the Internet, there are many dangers in self-diagnosing, especially when it comes to self-medicating. Of the many adverse potential outcomes, there are drug interactions that an individual may not be privy to, which can have lethal consequences. Any online website that allows the purchase of controlled substances without a valid prescription is likely selling unregulated, stolen, and/ or counterfeit medications. This makes it impossible for a consumer to know the true medication he or she has purchased, the potency, and ingredients of the medication, and/ or accurate dosage to take. Ingesting a medication without having a full understanding of what exactly one is taking puts the consumer at risk with every dose ingested and lead to overdose.

There are many obvious risks that accompany the purchase of illegal drugs over the Internet. For starters, if an illegal drug is being sold over the Internet, it is highly likely that the retailer is not reputable, as it is illegal. Every time a transaction occurs relating to the purchase of illegal drugs online, both the consumer and retailer are committing a felony. The questionable morals of the retailer should not be limited to running an illegal website, but also to the product that is being sold. The drugs are not regulated by the government, which means the manufacturing process is not supervised, and in many cases inconsistent. 

Important information regarding medication (i.e. controlled substances) is regulated by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) include the potency, the expiration date, additives and ingredients, and the origin of the medication. All information shared regarding illicit drugs that are sold on a website is solely at the discretion of the retailer. This can cause unexpected physical distress, and in some cases it can actually lead to death. 

There is always a financial risk when it comes to purchasing illicit substances over the Internet. In order to pay for the drugs, the consumer will likely be required to input a method of payment (i.e. credit card information, debit card information…etc.). Sharing access to one’s personal information and payment method details provides the website the ability to store and use the shared information at a later date. The bottom line is that any website that claims to sell medications (without needing a valid prescription) and/ or illicit drugs is not operating aboveboard, likely in any area of their business. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.