Drugs and the Darknet: Challenges and Opportunities

Darknet markets, or “cryptomarkets,” are changing the way that people buy, sell, use, and make drugs around the world. These anonymous online markets are democratizing access to global drug supply chains, introducing new challenges and opportunities for supporting the health of people who use the products that flow through them.

This event explored technologies, practices, opportunities, and challenges emerging from cryptomarkets. It presented a framework for understanding the role of cryptomarkets in global drug supply chains and how principles of harm reduction manifest in discourse and practice within them. We examined product innovations seen within cryptomarkets to reduce the health harms related to illicit substances purchased online, explore implications of recent interdiction events, and frame guidelines for the ethical practice of harm reduction service and research in this space.


  • Michael Gilbert, MPH, is a public health technologist with a specialization in epidemiology and harm reduction.
  • Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD, is an epidemiologist studying the medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids and heroin at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Daniel Wolfe (moderator) is director of International Harm Reduction Development at the Open Society Foundations.
Date: January 25, 2018
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.
Nabarun Dasgupta, Michael Gilbert, and Daniel Wolfe
Sponsored by: