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Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High [Paperback]

Mike Power
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 May 2013
A few years ago, deals were done in dimly-lit side streets or on the phone via a friend of a friend. Today, you can order every conceivable pill or powder with the click of a mouse. But the online market in narcotics isn't just changing the way drugs are bought and sold; it's changing the nature of drugs themselves. Enterprising dealers are using the web to engage highly skilled foreign chemists to tweak the chemical structures of banned drugs - just enough to create a similar effect, just enough to render them legal in most parts of the world. Drugs such as mephedrone (aka miaow-miaow) are marketed as 'not for human consumption', but everyone knows exactly how they're going to be used - what they can't know is whether their use might prove fatal. From UK dancefloors to the offices of apathetic government officials, via social networking sites and underground labs, Mike Power explores this agile, international, virtual subculture that will always be one step ahead of the law.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846274591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846274596
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An informed, entertaining and profoundly sobering explanation of the state of play in the modern day global narcotics trade. ... Power delves into the minutiae and oddities of the trade s development in illuminating detail. Some of it is technical, but it s rarely dry and often very funny. ... Drugs 2.0 is profoundly compelling. --Metro

Powers lifts the lid on forums where amateur chemists and dedicated drug experiments compare notes. Anyone who has remained unaware of the existence of the Dark Web will be genuinely shocked at what it s now possible to buy on the streets. --Herald

It's a global billion-dollar industry that has been revolutionised by the same forces that have revolutionised everything else and, in this carefully researched book, Power enumerates the ways ... there are some astonishing stories here. --Carole Cadwalladr, Observer

Though light in tone and often pretty funny, Drugs 2.0 delivers huge amounts of information, user experiences and a very balanced view. Drugs 2.0 is hugely informative and I can't recommend it highly enough if you want to read about how we got to a place, as Power says, "one step ahead of the law". --Testpressing

It's a global billion-dollar industry that has been revolutionised by the same forces that have revolutionised everything else and, in this carefully researched book, Power enumerates the ways ... there are some astonishing stories here. --Carole Cadwalladr, Observer

A clear-headed look at a hidden subculture. --New Scientist

It's a global billion-dollar industry that has been revolutionised by the same forces that have revolutionised everything else and, in this carefully researched book, Power enumerates the ways ... there are some astonishing stories here. --Carole Cadwalladr, Observer

This summer's must-read book for cosmic voyagers and those interested in the exploration of altered states. Mike Power's Drugs 2.0 is well-researched, informative and often funny look at a web-based narcotics industry and economy that has revolutionised the ways the world het its rocks off. --'Best summer read', Metro

It's a global billion-dollar industry that has been revolutionised by the same forces that have revolutionised everything else and, in this carefully researched book, Power enumerates the ways ... there are some astonishing stories here. --Carole Cadwalladr, Observer

About the Author

Born in 1971, Mike Power has worked as a freelance journalist for British newspapers including the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Herald, Drugscope and the Big Issue for the last 16 years, producing news, features and investigations. Between 2004 and 2009 he worked as a freelance correspondent in Latin America specialising in conflict, human rights and drugs issues. Assignments in Panama for Reuters and later in Colombia brought him into intimate contact with the traditional drugs trade as he investigated the Colombian cocaine industry. Since 2009 he has been based in London. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By wml
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've finished this in a couple of days. It's a fascinating account of the history of illegal and legal drugs, their synthesis/production, supply and consumption. It's very well written - though on occasion slightly repetitive but given the number of names and drugs mentioned I actually found that helpful. It's easy enough for a layman to understand. And while there is a clear message, it isn't a polemic in favour of drugs legalisation and I found it objective, unbiased, and both well-researched and well-sourced.

I've written a thesis on counternarcotics policy in Afghanistan and worked on a leading report on the cocaine trade, so have an ongoing intellectual interest. I'd highly recommend this book to those who were/are part of the drugs scene or those interested in learning more about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading... 17 July 2013
Format:Paperback
Drugs 2.0 is a book perfectly targeted at a non-scientific and non-specialist audience. It takes its time to set the scene as to what the drugs market looked like before the web, even charting the rise of the current drugs scene. Much of the book is an historical account of the rise of various academics' research compounds; initially focusing on MDMA then tracking the fall of these compounds from popular use, explaining why, and enlightening the reader as to why `legal-highs' took off with such aplomb. The book culminates in explaining the current state-of-the-art with respect to how people are currently using the web to deal both legal and illegal drugs and attempts to draw conclusions based on all the evidence presented.

Whilst the book has - what initially feels like - a faintly pro-drugs vibe, this eventually becomes an understandable view-point when you realise that one of the main themes of the book is harm-reduction and education, over out-dated and inefficacious blanket bans. Moreover, the further into the book you get, the more you (the reader) feel assured that you're not reading some pro-drugs propaganda, as solid-facts are used to draw logical conclusions about drug use. Indeed, while some myths about drugs are debunked, the use of scientific evidence should adequately satisfy most readers that this book is more concerned with getting the truth out there as opposed to taking an extreme view at either end of the spectrum.

As a chemist myself, I had anticipated loving the chemistry that I thought would be in this book, however that was not the case and very little chemistry was present. There was little in the way of chemical structures and nothing in the way of synthetic over-views.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 13 Jun 2013
By Mathias
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An in-depth look at how lawmakers don't have a clue when it comes to drafting legislation regarding recreational pharmaceuticals, plus interesting insights into why these compounds were synthesized in the first place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm towards the end of this book now and it's surpassed my expectations. It has just the right level of historical and technical information mixed with humour and case histories to hold your attention. Very well written. Recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where technology, science and drugs collide 28 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Describing how technology and science outstrip the law and legislation, this book portrays how drugs culture operates in a digitally connected world. It details how the first internet transaction was a drug deal and how the worlds first digital currency, Bitcoin, has fueled the market for online drugs, both legal and illegal. Fascinating, terrifying and highly informative, a must read for anyone with an interest in modern countercultures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Read me
Format:Paperback
An excellent summary of information every person on this planet should be well aware of. Well written and concise. Its about time that someone pulled their finger out and had the balls to compile a book of this magnitude. I salute you Mike Power.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rise of Research Chemicals 6 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The overall message is Harm Reduction. The book comes about the opinion intellingently, but simply enough. The book flows quite well, it's an easy read. It might be a little too easy for some.

The book charts the rise of Cyber Punk culture & the internet itself as well as how this & other technological & communications innovations have increased the ease with which drugs are discovered, discussed & traded. Mike illustrates as clearly as anyone has ever done, that the authorities are close to powerless in the face of the new technology used to create & distribute new & old drugs but that they are still on the whole determined to control enrcyption technolgies that allow places such as Silk Road to exist. Notable exceptions exist in South America, in New Zealand & in Portugal & their new, sometimes highly successful experiments in decriminalistation are discussed.

The aspirations of law enforcement & border controllers to irradicate Novel Psychoactive Compounds or illegal drugs supplied through the internet & the Silk Road, that are rarely delivered in amounts greater than 1kg & often in far smaller amounts, is a pipe-dream & that, while an island such as the UK is able to import the tonnes of Cocaine desired by the UK recreational market each year & that this importation takes places on an industrial scale despite the fact that Cocaine has been illegal for almost 100 years, enforcing controls of new drugs is almost impossible.

Ultimately the book concludes that the recent huge increase in the popularity of RC's & Legal Highs is directly transposed by their inherent risks, that these risks are likely greater than those posed by drugs that are already illegal & that the fear of criminality drives most legal & RC drugs consumption as well as the global drive for novel compounds that dodge the law.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every politician and Daily Mail reader should be forced to read this
Fantastic insight into a black market industry I only had a dim understanding of. Mike Power lays the mechanics bear and without trying shows the crass stupidity of current moral... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Richard M, Derbyshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an excellent book
Bought this as a present for my brother in law, then got it for myself, and now latest edition is out will get for my brother. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Ciara Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, unbiased, concise.
I liked how the author provides extensive background and history leading up to the current situation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Bigot Francois
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fascinating
One of the best insights into this subject I have ever read, thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to find out more about this topic, have read many books on it and this is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and entertaining read
A fascinating look at modern recreational drug culture, this book is thoroughly researched and entertainingly written. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul H
5.0 out of 5 stars drugs
This is a fantastic book that I bougght to help me a drugs recovery worker. It has helped me with my practice.
Published 9 months ago by justfortoday
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Interesting parallel between the evolution of the internet and the psychoactive substances consumed, as well as the legal issues it poses. Page turner!
Published 9 months ago by Olivier Garant
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading
Well written and easy to read with clear facts and evidence to support the assertions. Really pretty scary stuff though, how the criminalisation of "mainstream" (and at... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mark Hayhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I really enjoyed this book, I bought it expecting to have to force my way through it (Project on drugs) but I finished it the same day! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mia
5.0 out of 5 stars All I ever wanted to know about drugs....
Reading this book on tube I caught a lot of people staring at me quizzically. What kind of person reads about DRUGS? Read more
Published 13 months ago by IsoFin
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