Illinois may be nestled in the central United States, but the state is a reflection of our country at large. Home to one of the busiest airports and largest cities – O’Hare Airport and Chicago, respectively – the state also has a lot of resources that include coal, timber and petroleum. In addition to the large, industrial ports, Illinois acts as a major transportation hub and also has many small, rural communities that rely on farming and other crops. Illinois is dynamic and the heart of our country, but if you peel back the layers, you’ll find that the mult-faceted nature of Illinois brings about an array of drug problems.

At The River Source, we find it interesting that many of our past patients have come from the suburbs or rural communities of Illinois instead of Chicago. In recent years, we have seen a rise in heroin abuse, which is common in the suburbs of the city. Our Illinois patients have found the peace and solace they need at The River Source; they’ve been able to break away from their current environment and focus all of their efforts on healing.

Why Addiction is Prevalent in Illinois

Remember that Illinois has many sides to it. With a large city, affluent suburban neighborhoods and small, rural communities, drug and alcohol abuse exists in many ways. Chicago is where many drugs are distributed from, and over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of meth labs. Heroin remains a significant problem in the suburbs, as it’s often heroin that comes after an initial addiction to prescription pain pills.

We’ve also talked with some of our Illinois patients and found that they came from small towns where “there wasn’t much to do on the weekends.” Unfortunately, this type of attitude can lead to teens experimenting with drugs and alcohol from a young age. In 2007, there were approximately 1,239 people who died from drug-related deaths, and this number is slightly less than the number of victimes who were killed in car accidents. Heroin and marijuana remain the highest used drugs, and the significant increase in heroin addiction cases has caused much concern for parents, school administrators and law officers.

How Does Illinois Compare to Other States?

Illinois comes in slightly lower than other states when it comes to drug use. Approximately 7 percent of Illinois residents reported using drugs in the past month, compared to the national average of 8 percent. The rate of drug-related deaths is lower than the national average, 9.6 per 100,000 people compared to 12.7 per 100,000 people. When it comes to meth labs, however, Illinois has been impacted more than other states. In 2007, there were 364 incidents, and in 2009, the number rose to 395. This is an increase of 9 percent, with abandoned buildings and homes being the focal points of police raids.

The most common drugs that are cited for drug treatment admissions include heroin, cocaine and opiates. While heroin does remain a considerable problem in the state, as a whole, drug rates are lower than the national average. Additionally, 2.95 percent of residents in the state of Illinois admitted to using a drug other than marijuana in the past month, compared to the average of 3.58. Part of the reason for the lower rates is due to increase prison sanctions and fines for low-level drug use.

A Close Look At The Numbers

Below is the percentage of the Illinois population using and/or abusing drugs.

Illicit Drugs Age 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use 1 7.13%
Past Year Marijuana Use 9.31%
Past Month Marijuana Use 5.36%
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs other Than Marijuana 1 3.19%
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.48%
Past Year Non-Medical Pain Reliever Use 4.10%
Alcohol Age 18+
Past Month Alcohol Use 57.02%
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use 2 27.99%
Past Year Dependence, Abuse & Treatment Age 18+
Illicit Drug Dependence 1 1.83%
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1 2.45%
Alcohol Dependence 3.67%
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 8.51%
Alcohol or Illict Dependence or Abuse 1 9.69%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use 1, 3 2.08%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use 3 8.11%
1 – Illicit Drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically2 – Binge alcohol is defined as drinking five or more drinks in the same setting on at least one day in the past 30 days3 – Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to the respondents needing treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use but not seeking specific treatment at a facility

4 – Major Depressive Episode is defined as having a period of at least 2 weeks where a person experienced a depressed state of mind or loss of interest in daily activities. They also have the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV

Source: National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 2004 and 2005, SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies

Serious Psychological Distress 10.31%

Why Illinois Residents Should Seek Treatment in Arizona

The River Source finds what Illinois patients appreciate most is the warm and welcoming environment that Arizona offers. The sun is always shining, and the desert becomes a place of solace and peace, especially for our patients who come from the busy city of Chicago. With rolling hills in the background and the calm and peaceful expression of the desert southwest, Illinois patients are able to pour their heart and soul into their recovery without being distracted by negative influences. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, seeking treatment in Arizona may be the most beneficial route to take.