Investigation reveals students turn to GOWN AND DEPRESSED MIND WHAT YOU DO
STUDENTS are using the dark web to buy antidepressants without a prescription to cope with soaring stress levels, a Sunday People investigation reveals today.
Some say they do not want treatment being noted on their medical records. Many believe counselling won’t help. Others simply want to avoid doctors’ waiting lists.
But the students are risking their lives – and wasting their money.
Last week we monitored Britain’s biggest student chatroom where some gave each other advice about buying pills illegally.
Then we went on the dark web and soon ordered the same drugs with no questions asked.
Five days later the pills arrived. There were no dosage directions or warnings about side effects – which can include suicidal feelings.
The online trade in antidepressants for students has already proved fatal.
David Connell, 21, died after taking pills which he bought on the web to beat stress before his final exams at the University of Hull.
The computer science student was described as “brilliant”and heading for a first class degree but kept his mental health issues secret from everyone.
The pills he took were ten times stronger than diazepam – better known as Valium – and he was found dead in the bedroom of his student house.
Last week, as thousands of young people prepared for life away from their families, we monitored chatrooms at The Student Room which has at least 1.8 million users.
Students revealed their fears about isolation after leaving home, workloads, friendships, future results and job prospects.
One posted: “I sit and cry at least twice a day and I don’t have a reason why.
“I’ve looked online for treatments and have found things like fluoxetine.
“All of them have side effects but I am willing to try anything right now. Does EXPERTS at mental health charity Mind said they were worried by the findings of our investigation and urged anxious students to get proper medical help.
Stephen Buckley, Head of Information, told us: “It’s worrying that some people feel they need to use the internet to get medication for a mental health problem.
“Antidepressants can be very effective for some but they are not the solution for everyone and usually shouldn’t be offered as a first line treatment for mild to moderate depression.”
He said: “If you feel like you are experiencing a mental health problem, seek help.
“Go to your GP, who can talk you through the support that’s available.
“What people find helpful varies from person to person and what may work for you may be different from someone else – whether this is medication, talking therapies, making lifestyle changes such as taking anyone have any advice on these?” Another said: “I don’t want it be on my record. I can deal with it myself if I can get antidepressants.”
Yet another said: “I don’t want to go the doctors for anxiety meds although I’d get them for free. I’d rather buy them online. Is it possible for me to buy them here and what ones are good?
“Oh Oy yeah and don’t tell me to go to see the doctor.”doctor. Using download downloaded soft
ware to browse exercise, or a mixture of these, it is important to have this discussion. “It’s not advisable to buy any medicine on the internet unless you are buying from a registered online pharmacy. “In the UK, look for the Green Cross logo of the General Pharmaceutical Council and a registration number. “Remember also that a registered online pharmacy will not sell you prescriptiononly medicine unless you hold a prescription made out in your name from a legitimateg p prescriber,, like your doctor.” And he warned: ““Unfortunately, it is possible that uno unofficial online retailers will se sell counterfeit medicines of u unreliable quality or dose – or even a totally different medicine to the one you expect.” “It’s also ext extremely concerning that it may not have the appropriate pa packaging and supporting leaflets to explain side e effects, medicines tha that you shouldn’t mix it with and a appropriate d dosages.” the dark web – the global online market where criminals trade anonymously – we easily bought 30 Prozac pills for only £25. Prozac, a brand name for fluoxetine, is usually prescribed by GPs to treat depression, anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder and bulimia. It can affect pregnancies, cause, insomnia, loss of appetite, allergic attacks and even thoughts of self-harm and suicide, the NHS warns. Overdoses can cause heart and lung problems an and seizures and long term use can leadlea to dependency. But we were asked for no medicalmedi information and offeredoffer no mental health assessmentasses before buying. FiveFi days later an envelope with a Royal Mail First Class stampstam arrived containing three packspac of ten of the 20mg pills – –a a typical first dose a doctor might prescribe. There was no box and no instructions on how many to take or when to take them.
And it contained no warning about possible side effects.
Unless a UK website offers an official consultation it is illegal to sell drugs online without a doctor’s prescription.
The deadly dark web market has sprung up because of rising stress levels among Britain’s 500,000 students.
The number of them reporting mental health problems has risen five-fold in only ten years, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research.
More than 3,000 university students in 2006 reported mental health issues. But last year it was 15,000.
Some 94 per cent of higher education providers reported a rise in demand for counselling in the past five years, and said they expect it to go up in future.
Coroner Professor Paul Marks, who recorded that David Connell’s death in 2014 was a result of misadventure, said at his inquest: “The pressures of student life are such that people do become anxious and can’t see beyond their finals, which is the culmination of t heir t hree- year university course.”
Our investigation revealed that the spike in the illegal online drug trade is fuelled by undergradutes who cannot – or will not – get them through their doctor.
St a f f a t The Student Room inter-
WORRY: Stephen from Mind PACKED WITH DANGER: Envelope with 30 Prozac pills we received through the post DEGREE OF FEAR Report says student stress has soared in last decade TRAGEDY: Student David