Drugs 2.0

The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High

Mike Power

Published: 5 June 2014
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781846274602


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 meow meow) 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 a department of toxicology, 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.

About the author

Image of Mike Power

Born in 1971, Mike Power has worked as a freelance investigative journalist for British newspapers and organisations including the Guardian, Lonely Planet, the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Herald, DrugScope and the Big Issue. Between 2004 and 2009 he worked as a freelance correspondent in Latin America and the Caribbean, specialising in conflict, human rights and drugs issues. Drugs 2.0 is his first book. More about the author


‘[A] carefully researched book... there are some astonishing stories here’ Carole Cadwalladr



‘[Power] 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’

‘A crucial primer for anyone who wants to understand contemporary drug culture. Mike Power uses hardcore research to map the chemical, social, political and economic landscape of today's narcotic underground and its impact on those who consume the drugs that it generates’ Matthew Collin, author

‘A must-read for anyone interested in pharmaceuticals, popular culture or the ever-changing face of the web... stimulating’ Amy Balloch

‘An authoritative and compellingly lucid account on one of the most important topics drug prohibition has created. Very few books have ever managed to convince me that the author truly understands this topic as well as Mike does. Remember to buy two and give one to your local politician’ Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road, December 2013

‘An informed and thoroughly hip intervention into a public debate that is too often evidence-hostile and tabloid-panderingly disingenuous... Fascinating and vividly written’ Steven Poole

‘An informed, entertaining and 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... Profoundly compelling’

‘Fascinating and vivid’ Steven Poole

‘Mike Power is a sure guide to this murky cyber world’

‘Power is a sure guide through this cyberworld of new tablets, capsules and powders’ Richard Davenport-Hines

‘This summer's must-read book for cosmic voyagers and those interested in the exploration of altered states... well-researched, informative and often funny’ Best of Summer Reads

‘Though light in tone and often pretty funny, Drugs 2.0 delivers huge amounts of information, user experiences and a very balanced view. ... [It's] hugely informative and I can't recommend it highly enough’

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