In today’s digital age, it seems you can find and buy almost anything online, of course with a few exceptions. However, this is shockingly more true than one would think with a website called the Silk Road. The name may sound harmless, but it’s actually an anonymous online market place for illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. The site uses software that hides a buyer’s search engine and reroutes their traffic to make purchases anonymous and untraceable.

Who would have thought an eBay for illicit drugs could exist?

The original Silk Road site was shut down in early October by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but headlines this week have reported that a new Silk Road site has emerged. The new site claims it offers enhanced security and privacy for users.

Yolanda Evans, MD, MPH, of Seattle Children’s adolescent medicine division, was dumbfounded when she heard about the site at a symposium last week. She also learned that many teens are aware of how to get drugs online.

“What does this mean for parents of teens? To me, it re-enforces the need to monitor what our teens are doing on the internet,” said Evans. “I’m not endorsing sitting over their shoulders every time they’re on the Internet, but I do think parents should periodically check in.”

In a Teenology 101 blog post, Evans discusses this issue and offers tips for parents about how to best monitor and be aware of their teen’s online activity. She also advises that parents should trust their gut and if they are concerned about their teen’s Internet safety or possible drug use, they should have a conversation with them and talk with their doctor about resources.

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If you’d like to arrange an interview with Dr. Evans, please contact Children’s PR team at 206-987-4500 or at press@seattlechildrens.org