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Pediatrics. 2002 Jun;109(6):e96.

Just a click away: recreational drug Web sites on the Internet.

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Department of Medical Toxicology, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona 85006, USA.


The explosive growth of the Internet in recent years has provided a revolutionary new means of interpersonal communication and connectivity. Information on recreational drugs-once limited to bookstores, libraries, mass media, and personal contacts-is now readily available to just about anyone with Internet access. Not surprising, Internet access greatly facilitates the free and easy exchange of ideas, opinions, and unedited and nonrefereed information about recreational drugs. This article presents a patient who came to medical attention as the result of recreational drug-taking behavior directly influenced by her Internet browsing. A second case is presented in which the only information available about the medical effects of a new "designer" drug was found on a recreational drug Internet Web site. Several such Web sites are described in detail. Despite the presence of Web sites that convey antidrug messages, the drug sites that espouse "risk reduction" and "safe" and "responsible" drug use are easily accessible and potentially alluring to children and adults. Health care providers who care for adolescents should be particularly aware of the content of these drug sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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