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Will growth in cryptomarket drug buying increase the harms of illicit drugs?

Aldridge, Judith, Stevens, Alex, Barratt, Monica J. (2017) Will growth in cryptomarket drug buying increase the harms of illicit drugs? Addiction, 113 (5). pp. 789-796. ISSN 0965-2140. (doi:10.1111/add.13899) (KAR id:66651)

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Background and aim

We provide a narrative review of the emerging literature connected to drug cryptomarkets. We use MacCoun & Reuter's formula to understand the effect of population?level increases in use on total harm as depending on the level of harm associated with each unit of use. We then consider the potential for cryptomarkets to increase or decrease the harms and benefits related to each unit of drug use, with specific attention to the quality of drugs sold and the non?drug?related harms and benefits for customers.


There is an emerging and rapidly growing evidence base connected to the macro and micro harms and benefits of cryptomarkets for drug users. Future researchers should use appropriately matched comparative designs to establish more firmly the differential harms and benefits of sourcing drugs both on? and off?line. While it is unlikely that the on?line drug trade can be eradicated completely, cryptomarkets will respond to regulation and enforcement in ways that have complex, and sometimes unanticipated, effects on both harms and benefits.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/add.13899
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Alex Stevens
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 15:37 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 20:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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