Illinois Drug Addiction and Treatment
Within Illinois, the leading drug market is the Chicago metropolitan area, which serves as one of the country's largest drug markets and a national-level distribution center. Drugs shipped into Chicago are destined not only for the local market but also for states across the Midwest and the Eastern states.
Illinois possesses some astonishing statistics that have bearing on the extent of the problem.
- It's estimated that between 100,000 and 130,000 people in the Chicago metropolitan area are members of organized gangs. By and large, organized street gangs control the retail distribution of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana throughout the metropolitan area.
- More than one million people in the state are dependent on or abusing alcohol or illicit drugs. More than 800 thousand fail each year to get alcohol addiction treatment that they admit they need and more than 200,000 need and don't get drug addiction treatment.
- Out of a state population of 12 million, nearly 200,000 are on probation or are in jail.
The Problem Moves Out of the Inner City
At one time, the solution to high exposure to drug addiction and all its accompanying ills was simply to move to the suburbs. The latest trend in the spread of narcotics is the movement into the suburbs and even to rural areas of Illinois. Gang members such as the Latin Kings, the Bloods, the Crips, the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords control the majority of the retail trade in crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin and marijuana within the urban environment.
Now, some gang members have broken off from the tightly controlled core group of gang members and have taken their colors to new markets with new customers. This trend has brought new violence to the suburbs as inner city gangs push out the existing drug dealers. Law enforcement agencies identify the violence connected with gangs to be the most serious crime threat to the state.
One of the Largest Drug Abuser Populations in the Country
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the Chicago area has one of the largest populations of substance abusers in the country. Cocaine, often crack cocaine, and heroin are the major threats, followed by marijuana.
In Illinois as in other states, the results of heroin or cocaine abuse, counting both powder cocaine and crack cocaine, are generally more severe than the results of any other kind of drug abuse. More people received addiction treatment services in Illinois for heroin or cocaine addiction than any other type of addiction, including alcohol treatment. In 2007, 33,169 heroin addicts received drug addiction treatment and 19,238 people addicted to cocaine were treated in rehab centers in Illinois. That compares to 18,427 people who received treatment for alcohol addiction. Nearly 13,000 people needed and received drug rehabilitation for marijuana addiction.
Illinois is a Destination for Drugs from All Over the World
As one of the major drug distribution points for the Eastern and Midwestern states, Illinois receives a high quantity of the same drugs that plague other regions of the country. Unlike other American metropolitan areas, Chicago receives all four of the main types of heroin: South American, Southeast Asian, Southwest Asian and Mexican heroin. The large ethnic population, seaport, airports, interstates and plentiful financial institutions all add up to an environment in which the illicit drug trade can prosper.
The 2008 seizures of addictive drugs is a measure of the quantities of drugs flowing through the interstates, the package services and postal service, being carried on couriers or being trucked in from the Southwest border of the United States.
- 5454 pounds of cocaine
- 258 pounds of heroin
- 20,550 pounds of marijuana
While street gangs rule the retail end of operations, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs are being trafficked into the area by Columbian, Mexican, Nigerian and other West African drug trafficking organizations. These organizations usually establish stash houses where they store their drugs and consolidate millions of dollars of cash for outbound shipment across the border.
Law enforcement agencies recently noted the discovery of stash houses in Bolingbroke, Romeoville, Plainfield and Joliet. In one house, $1.4 million in cash and 119 pounds of cocaine were recently seized. These discoveries provide further evidence of the movement into the suburbs by dealers and traffickers.
Narconon Provides Help for Those Who Urgently Need Recovery from Substance Abuse
Leading the way with effective drug abuse prevention services is Narconon Great Lakes in Chicago. The Narconon drug education curriculum has been proven to make a substantial difference in young peoples' attitudes about drug use. Follow-up surveys show that students who receive the Narconon drug education curriculum markedly change their opinions about drug use and no longer think it is "cool."
There are also multiple Narconon residential treatment centers within a short travel time from the Illinois borders. Drug abuse and addiction do not need to be an endless curse. With the Narconon residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, lifetime addiction recovery is within reach.
Narconon Drug Information Department
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