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An Examination of Harm Reduction Strategies in Oxycodone and Adderall Buyer Feedback on AlphaBay

NCJ Number
Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 22 Issue: 4 (SI) Dated: November 2023 Pages: 695-733
Date Published
November 2023
39 pages

This paper offers insights into the shared experiences of drug buyers in anonymous settings and the strategies they use to protect each other from overdose and other unwanted side effects that can be caused by adulterated substances; its goal is to understand these protective strategies so harm reduction programs can extend their services to online environments and help online buyers make informed decisions.


Darknet marketplaces (DNMs) are global digital marketplaces used primarily to buy and sell illicit drugs online. High rates of adulterated substances have contributed to the creation of harm reduction policies by DNM administrators to address growing rates of overdose worldwide. This paper explores the extent to which harm reduction occurs in buyer feedback of Adderall and Oxycodone purchased on AlphaBay and how these comments are impacted by AlphaBay's administrator-led “harm reduction” policy. This study finds that harm reduction strategies are present in buyer feedback of Oxycodone and Adderall pills, but AlphaBay's policy has very little impact on the preexisting harm reduction communication within buyer feedback. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: November 1, 2023