Dark web enables addicts to get their fix online

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Sure you can get drugs on the streets, but many addicts are turning to the internet to get their fix.

“When I’m looking for something, I find what I’m looking for,” Emilio Rodriguez told News 2.

Rodriguez is a recovering addict.

“I’d been using since I was 16, so I’ve been using for a bit over half my life,” he said.

He told News 2 his addiction started with drinking and marijuana, and then cocaine and opiates until he found his drug of choice: heroin.

“Heroin was my go-to. It was a euphoria that couldn’t be described with anything else really. I’d say probably used a good five or six times a day,” Rodriguez said, adding, “I was pretty much playing with fire until I got burned.”

For years, he bought his drugs online through the dark web, the hidden part of the internet available through specialized software.

“All you have to do is really follow a couple of little rules on how to use it, how to get online on it and once (there) you are off to the races,” Rodriguez explained.

Emilio Rodriguez (Photo: WKRN)

A quick Google search will show you the few steps you have to take to access the dark web.

“Not difficult at all. It’s just like downloading a Snapchat app or a Facebook app, whatever it is,” said Rodriguez.

Once on the dark web, you will find virtually everything for sale.

“Weapons, heroin… There are even some that have been known to sell people. Click. I want this, I want that, and they ship it to you,” Rodriguez told News 2.

Access is free–and hard to trace.

“It can be traced, but it’s a lot more difficult to be traced to purchase drugs online,” he said.

Rodriquez also says he used a P.O. box for some drug deliveries. Other times he had them delivered to vacant houses in his neighborhood.

“I was in the pits of it I was the lowest you can go,” he added.

Rodriquez’s addiction led him to jail and nearly death.

“I overdosed a total of four times. Two times were borderline death, teetering on death. You know, prison time, jail time, all these things, and it just started amounting,” he explained.

Rodriquez said he had enough and turned his life around. He has been sober now for 9 months and serves as a life coach for Addiction Campuses.

“I was able to make it to the other side now and I’m grateful for that because I can help other people do it.”