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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Silk Road

Silk Road Project

Online drug marketplaces are now a part of wider illicit drug exchange networks. Understanding how this new way of obtaining drugs impacts upon buyers is critical if we are to better understand the current context of illicit drug use and harms. This project aimed to understand Silk Road use from a buyer's perspective. People who had purchased drugs from Silk Road 1.0 were invited to complete anonymous, encrypted online interviews. The interviews involved a life history approach to ascertain drug use trajectories and drug purchasing trajectories, allowing us to understand the contexts of Silk Road and other online drug purchasing without collecting identifying information. We also explored whether and how drug use and harms were affected by increased access and the availability of a wider range of substances through Silk Road.

Data collection for this research is now closed (as of June 2014) data analysis is being completed and research findings are currently being disseminated through relevant conferences and scholarly publication outlets (particularly over 2015 to 2016).

We would like to thank the participants in the project and those who supported the successful conduct of this research.

As articles are published from this study we will make them available on this site.