Coke, MDMA, speed… Viagra? This is now the standard pitch of UK drug dealers as more and more young people are buying the erectile dysfunction pills on the black market for recreational use on a night out.
The black market has seen a boom in Viagra sales as the pills become an integral “part of the party.” According to Sky News, cocaine is losing its prime position as one the most-craved drugs, as people instead turn to the little blue helpers to enhance their sexual performance or counter the effect of alcohol and other drugs that can render people impotent in bed.
Drug dealers say they are increasingly targeting freshers at universities looking for some “skirt.” According to a drug dealer from Greater Manchester, he and other pushers are “making a killing” from the sale of the blue pills. Dealers are able to buy pills for as little as a pound, but can sell them for a minimum £5 ($6.60), he told the Daily Star.
“Freshers week, when all these youngsters are away from home for the first time, s**gging anything in sight, is a time when we make a killing,” the dealer said. The pills are becoming so widespread that even 99p stores are stocking them, and prescriptions for them have tripled over the past 10 years.
They now account for 90 percent of all seized counterfeit drugs, with £17.4 million ($23 million) worth of illicit pills being seized in 2016. That is up from £2.5 million ($3.3 million) in 2012-13. The total value of the seized drugs over the past five years therefore amounts to £49.4 million ($65.2 million).
Sexual psychotherapist Raymond Francis, who works at Harley Street’s Apex Practice, claims he has seen an increase in patients using the pills who are typically under the age of 35 and who are not in fixed relationships.
“I believe their dependence on Viagra for recreational reasons, if you like, is driven to some degree by the plethora of sexual imagery through pornography which is so instantly available,” he told Sky News.
He claimed that, although his patients did not report any physiological issues, they had become physically dependent on the drugs in their struggle to reach the unrealistic portrayal of male sexual performance in porn.
“This is one of the last few remaining taboos in modern society today, even in this day and age of openness, male sexual performance is one of the few matters in life which is really considered deeply confidential,” Francis added.
Danny Lee-Frost, head of operations for Enforcement Group, told Sky News: “They dwarf anything else we seize. When I first started doing this you’d get people flying out to India for a fortnight holiday and then coming back with a couple of suitcases, their mates designed them a little website and they were dealing it all from their spare bedroom.
“Now you’ve got organised crime involved, you’ve got the websites hosted in places like Russia, you’ve got the money going out to the Cayman Islands, you’ve got this stuff being smuggled in. It’s a big, big business,” he said.