By now, many have heard of the Silk Road – an online black market for illegal substances and other unscrupulous offerings. The website was shut down in October 2013 and was featured in many a headline at the time. The popular currency of the platform was Bitcoin, an anonymous digital currency otherwise known as a cryptocurrency. It’s not just a make believe coin used in underground markets, however. Bitcoin actually has value in the real world. In fact, many retailers and e-tailers have started accepting it as a form of payment.

Since Bitcoin has value it means Silk Road users were actually spending real money on drugs and other substances. Not that anyone would expect drug dealers to take anything less as a form of payment.

The operation of Silk Road brought to light the current state of substance abuse and helped show just how far those with addiction issues are willing to go. There was a much larger cost associated with drugs purchased through the website. This infographic by Clarity Way Rehab demonstrates just how expensive this Amazon of Illegal Drugs could be for people buying illicit drugs on the site. For instance, the price of heroin on Silk Road was nearly two times that of the average street price. Furthermore, if those who purchased drugs via the Silk Road had actually done so on the street, they would have saved tons of money.

The least expensive street price of marijuana is $212 per ounce, whereas the average Silk Road price is $394 per ounce. That’s not even including the most expensive price of marijuana on the Silk Road which sold at $409 per ounce. That’s nearly a $200 difference in price imposed simply out of convenience.

In Oregon, Silk Road users would save more than $182 by purchasing their marijuana on the street instead of online. In Florida, those same users would save more than $88 by purchasing on the street. By no means are we advocating purchasing illegal drugs in any capacity, but the point is that the convenience was hardly worth the cost.

While the Silk Road did offer substances like marijuana, DMT, mushrooms and heroine – there was a heavy price for buying drugs in such a convenient manner. When you factor out the danger and health problems associated with substance abuse, you’re left with the financial burdens addiction can cause. Then again, all burdens associated with addiction are heavy. Many have realized as such after the passing of the late and great Philip Seymour Hoffman – who had been battling the throes of addiction for more than 20 years before his death.

It’s very easy to look at the health-related costs associated with substance abuse but many seem to overlook the financial ones. According to the infographic from Clarity Way, drug users from about one-fifth of the country overpaid by more than $100 during every transaction just to quench their addiction. Only one state out of fifty saw a decrease in cost when purchasing via the Silk Road, which was North Dakota. The rest of the continental states saw a huge markup in price.

If you are battling addiction or you know someone that is, take a moment to understand all the costs associated with the disease. To name a few there are emotional, mental, health, career and financial burdens associated with addiction. It doesn’t stop there either. We need to do everything we can to get this information out there and circulating because you never know who it’s going to help. Please share, and pass on this content in any way you can. Thank you.

Click HERE for a larger version of the infographic below

Infographic by Clarity Way Rehab Center

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