Los Angeles, CA – The convenience of home-delivered meals, household supplies and many other products with just a few clicks on one’s cellphone has come to the drug world. But authorities in Hollywood, California, warn that home-delivered drugs can come with something no one ever orders: arrest and even fatal overdose.
Muse Treatment, an alcohol and drug rehab center in Los Angeles, urges drug users to avoid this dangerous service, noting that at least one person was found dead in his home after ordering drugs by phone. His alleged dealer had a team of drivers available to make deliveries.
Investigators say the man had purchased cocaine and oxycodone by phone from the suspected drug dealer, who offered an extensive menu of substances that included acid, ecstasy, mushrooms, and several other drugs. Like any meal or shopping service, the dealer added on a delivery fee.
The customer was found dead on his kitchen floor the next morning. He had apparently overdosed on the drugs, which officials said were laced with fentanyl.
The victim’s death led to an extensive federal investigation uncovering the drug-delivery service, which the alleged dealer was accused of running from her Hollywood apartment. Their job was made a little easier by the long trail of evidence she had allegedly left: money collected via cash apps, records stored on laptops and cellphones.
The alleged delivery customer was one of about 100,000 Americans who died of drug overdoses in the year ending in April 2021 – a record high number – according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His apparent death from fentanyl was a tragic ending that is all too common for drug users. Dealers often add synthetic opioids to counterfeit prescription drugs because it’s cheap and easy to obtain. But it packs a powerful high that is many times more potent than morphine. Many users aren’t able to handle its effects. The drug is blamed for a large share of the record number of fatal overdoses. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, many of these pills are manufactured in Mexico and imported to the U.S.
The Hollywood case was not the first case of someone ordering drugs by phone, but it’s part of a new twist in the drug trade. According to Interpol, the lockdowns required by the COVID-19 pandemic led many criminals to use food delivery services to cover their activities delivering drugs and other illegal goods. The international police agency said it had received reports from police in Ireland, Malaysia, Spain and Britain that food delivery drivers were actually delivering drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, ketamine and ecstasy.
Police in Spain arrested seven people for using bicycles, motorcycles and cars to allegedly deliver marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, which they concealed in official meal-delivery backpacks
In Ireland, police recovered 17 pounds of cocaine and two handguns in pizza boxes.
No reports have surfaced of the European drug cases leading to fatal overdoses, but the drug crisis is not limited to the U.S. so it’s likely that home-delivery customers have not escaped the risk.
When one is isolated at home because of continuing COVID fears, it’s tempting to simply pick up the phone and call someone who can bring chemical comfort – just as one may have fallen into the habit of ordering high-calorie comfort food. Instead, contact Muse Treatment to begin the process of recovery for oneself or a loved one. Muse Treatment offers a comprehensive treatment of alcohol dependence or other substance use disorders. For help or more information, call (800) 426-1818.