Drugs 2.0 | Granta

  • Published: 05/06/2014
  • ISBN: 9781846274602
  • 129x20mm
  • 320 pages

Drugs 2.0

Mike Power

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.

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, Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House

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, Guardian

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


The Author

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.

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