Ordering illegal drugs by mobile phone is becoming as easy as ordering a pizza, says a Salford user.
Young people especially are using social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter to order illegal substances on their mobile phones to be delivered straight to their door.
An anonymous Salford resident, 20, said: “I found a dealer on Instagram and got the number. So whenever I want to order drugs, I can. It’s easy.”
Sellers use hashtags and emojis along with images of what they are selling.
The drug buyer said: “You can search the names or hashtags or even related emojis to find someone selling what you are looking for.”
Although this is illegal, social media platforms are struggling to regulate the constant stream of material posted.
Ebay, the ecommerce business, also allows sellers to deliver nitrous oxide to anyone with an account, despite its primary purpose being for whipping cream.
Dame Carole Black concluded in her recent drugs review: “You can buy almost any drug you want anywhere. It wouldn’t be too far to say getting certain drugs are as easy as getting pizza.”
Her study also found that about three million people in England and Wales were taking drugs last year, creating costs in crime and to society of £19 billion a year.
Government statistics show that between 2015 and 2017 there was 72 reported deaths in Salford due to poisoning and 51 deaths due to drug misuse.
In response to the growing drug problem, Jon Rouse CBE, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, has created a Drug and Alcohol Strategy for Greater Manchester.
The strategy addresses the fact that there has been a 74 per cent rise in drug related deaths in Greater Manchester over the past 10 years. This translates to 480 deaths in the latest three-year tracking period, which is 136 higher than the UK average.
To combat these statistics, the strategy will incorporate more prevention and early intervention about drug use. Another aim is managing availability and accessibility of drugs in Greater Manchester. As well as creating a community of recovery to help those who have already suffered with drug use or misuse.
Anyone struggling with any of the issues mentioned in this piece or wanting more information, can head to one of Salford’s drug rehabilitation and help centres shown on the map.