the leading addiction in the state, with over 10,000 cases a year.
Although Heroin is most abused substance in the state, it is important to note that alcohol dependence is higher in Illinois than the national average among individuals aged 18 to 25.
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The geographic location of Chicago, Illinois makes it a major transportation hub and distribution center for illicit substances for the midwest. The majority of the trafficking in the city is dione by Mexico-based poly drug organizations, Colombian coacine and heroin organizations and lastly, Nigerian/West African groups that traffick heroin. There are several local street gangs that also play an integral role in the Chicago drug trade. They are the distributors of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana throughout the city. A large portion of violent crimes are directly related to drug street gangs.
Like many states, Illinois has a high rate of cocaine and crack cocaine abuse. Most of the Cocaine origniates in Mexico and is then transported to Chicago. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), there were more estimated cocaine-related emergency department mentions in Chicago than any other city monitored by the program for the 3rd year in a row. Cocaine-related deaths in Chicago were the most predominant in 2002, surpassing heroin-related deaths.
Cocaine isn't the only concern in Illinois, as Heroin abuse is quite common throughout the state. Chicago's unique geographical location allows it to source Heroin from all four major countries involved in drug distribution including South America, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and to a lesser extent Mexico. The most populary being South American Heroin and often the Heroin is some of the best in the country.
The State of Illinois is faced with an increasing methamphetamine problem. Mexican based drug trafficking organizations produce and transport large quantities of meth from California and Mexico. Smaller street gangs control the retail distribution throughout Illinois. Another reason for the meth problem in the State of Illinois is the transshipment of large quantities of pseudoephedrine from Canada, through Chicago, to California. This substance is used to produce methamphetamine in "super labs" managed by Mexican traffickers.
Club drugs, or synthetic drugs, and more specifically “designer” drugs known for their hallucinogenic and psychedelic properties have increased in use and abuse in the State of Illinois. These drugs consist of the following: gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (commonly known as GHB), d-lysergic acid diethylamide (commonly known as LSD), Ketamine (commonly known as Special K) and MDMA (which is the active ingredient in Ecstasy).Chicago has also ranked near the top of Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) for emergency department reports of PCP over the last several years.
A common perception in Chicago is the belief that designer drugs are not harmful or addictive like cocaine or heroin. This is sadly not true, and many Illinois residents quickly find themselves spiraling into addiction just from one drug encounter.