Imagine having a drug dealer in your home, constantly available to sell drugs to your family. Imagine if that drug dealer didn't care how old the customer was or if they had an illness or not. Imagine if that drug dealer was constantly sending them messages to buy this drug or that drug. As outrageous as this may seem, every home in the U.S. with Internet access has the potential for just such a roommate. A recent National Center On Addiction And Substance Abuse study demonstrates that this is exactly the situation we find ourselves in across the United States and Canada. According to the study, eighty-five percent of the sites selling controlled prescription drugs do not require a physician's prescription from the patient. Of those sites that require prescriptions, half permit the prescription to be faxed allowing significant opportunity for fraud. Most disturbing, there are no controls on any of these sites blocking access by children. This report documented the widespread advertising and offers of sale for controlled prescription drugs--pain relievers like OxyContin and Percocet, depressants like Valium and Xanax, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall--online and without a prescription. These are some of the most addictive drugs available today, illicit or otherwise. Countless millions already suffer from addiction to these drugs and others and a person attempting to recover from this horrid addictive nightmare doesn't even have to leave home to get the drugs they crave. They just need to log on to the Internet and order away.

The simple analogy of having a drug dealer in every home actually holds some relevance. Picture every morning over coffee while checking the latest news a dealer sits down next to you and lets you know how "amazing" you'll feel if you try this drug and also tells you how easy it will be to get it. Every evening before going to bed that same dealer is there as you check the day's sports scores to entice you into sleep aids to help feel "refreshed and vibrant". If a person were having a bad day or already craving their drug of choice it's not much of a stretch to imagine a few clicks, enter the necessary information and wait for the package to arrive.

Today an estimated 200 million people in the U.S. are Internet users; 125 million access the World Wide Web at least weekly. While 63 percent of adults have access to the Internet, Internet users are disproportionately young, including nearly 100 percent of college students and 78 percent of 12 to 17 year olds. The fact that children, teens and college students are likelier to be online than adults makes online access to controlled prescription drugs even more troubling.

Not surprisingly, online trafficking of controlled prescription drugs grew rapidly since the first Internet pharmacies began in 1992. With cash, wire transfer or access to a credit card and the click of a mouse, the Internet has offered a convenient and private means of purchasing controlled prescription drugs--completely lacking in scrutiny from parents, other family members, and frequently hidden from law enforcement.

What all this means is that much stricter controls must be put in on the online pharmaceutical industry immediately to halt the wide spread distribution of these most harmful drugs to the American Public. At least a person should be forced to seek medical advice when deciding to take these types of drugs whereby the Doctor would be able to inform the patient of their extremely high addictive qualities. No one deserves to become trapped in addiction's clutches and the online drug dealers must be gotten out of our houses and back into the Doctors office where they belong.