This EMCDDA Trendspotter study on Internet drug markets in Europe was undertaken during September and October 2014. It commenced with a phase of data collection and literature review, culminating in an expert meeting in Lisbon on 30–31 October 2014. The aim of the study was to increase understanding of the online supply of drugs and undertake a mapping of the range of Internet drug markets in existence. Specific focuses were on the role of social media and apps; online sale of new psychoactive substances (NPS); online sales of medicinal products for illicit use; and the
sale of drugs on the deep web.
Fourteen international experts attended the meeting, sharing their experiences and contributing to an analysis of the topic, providing insights from IT, research and monitoring, law enforcement, and Internet and drug user perspectives. The Trendspotter study methodology incorporates a number of different investigative approaches and data collection from multiple sources. This study included a review of the international literature; 15 expert presentations (one by video); and three facilitated working groups. Analysis was based on triangulation of the available data, with a view to providing as complete and verified a picture as possible.