Almost everyone that I have met, and everyone that they have met, has some kind of anxiety disorder.
Somewhere, someone is calling anxiety the new pandemic.
As you might imagine, even drug dealers have their fair share of worries and troubles – an outright occupational hazard if ever there was one.
The reality of selling drugs is a far cry from popular mythology that suggests drug dealers are having the time of their lives while enjoying vice after vice.
Rather, as VICE notes, a drug dealer these days is likely to be a “12-year-old child at the end of a county line” rather than “a smooth-talking gangster in a velour tracksuit”.
It doesn’t help that the drug trade is absolutely raging:
A 2019 report found the European drug trade to be worth at least €30 billion a year, with 2017 analysis pegging America’s at nearly $150 billion.
With that in mind, you can see that there is a need for everyday people to push and peddle the product.
So, the alternative website has reached out to dealers, present and former, around the world to “dig through their worry box”.
Let’s hear some of them out.
Henry, 23, Oxford, UK; former cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and weed dealer
Number one worry is police, of course. Second, I would say, is set-ups.
Third: selling improper or impure stuff that leads to someone being hurt.
Henry says that he ended up taking 10 to 12 milligrams of Xanax per day, plus loads of ketamine, to curb the anxiety he felt after his friend was stabbed 112 times by his best friend and then dismembered afterwards.
That is not something any human should be involved in:
I lost everything partying and from the ket addiction – I’ve had two bladder surgeries since. I’ve got my own legit business now and am in recovery. I still check for police every time people knock on the door, though, and always shit myself if I see blues behind me when I’m driving!
Oliver, 30, Ohio, US; former Xanax dealer
Oliver started selling acid on Snapchat and then he moved on to 500 bars a week of Xanax that he would buy from the dark web:
At one point, three people a week [lower-rung dealers] would go to jail a week off the Xanax I was providing them.
Also, the rate at which people went through them made me feel uneasy. I had one girl who wanted ten bars, then 100 the next week, then 100 the week after that. She was dating my friend, so I knew she wasn’t sharing them.
I was also selling to people who did heroin and that made me fearful of them overdosing or dying.
He was plagued by the idea of selling to people who could end up hurt by the product, and these anxieties, on top of living in constant fear, made him take up drug use.
He ended up in prison and says the urge to go back to dealing now that he is out is “so great”.
Billy, 24, UK; magic mushrooms and LSD dealer
Billy is worried about selling “such powerful, life-changing chemicals” to just anyone, especially someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and could end up having a bad reaction.
He feels immense responsibility and thus takes his job incredibly seriously, with some of his friends even having to “fight me to get me to sort them trippers themselves”.
Noah, 30, Australia; former crystal meth dealer
Other dealers and problematic customers are Noah’s biggest worries:
You’re not going to be on the cops’ radar if you’re small time, so it’s other players you have to worry about. That could mean getting ripped off or rolled, or having customers taken so you lose your income stream.
Most of the time I was working on credit, so would get product on consignment and then repay it after. It was just simpler that way, but any hiccups with the sales would then leave a big sword of Damocles over your head.
Once Noah was even kidnapped and tortured by the organisation that he worked under, and was only saved because of a police tactical raid.
He’s out of the game now but says he has severe Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
You can read more here.
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