Illinois is the 5th most populous of the 50 United States, and the 25th largest state by size. The state has a population of nearly 13 million residents. It is often referred to as a microcosm of the entire country with the major population center of Chicago, great agricultural productivity, small industrial cities, and natural resources like petroleum, timber, and coal.
Chicago is the largest city in Illinois, and the third largest city by population in the United States. The metropolitan area is home to 9.5 million people, and accounts for over two-thirds of the state of Illinois’ total population. Chicago is a center for business, arts, and culture and is designated as the hub of the Midwest. Chicago is also home to professional sports teams from all 4 of America’s major leagues including two professional Major League Baseball teams.
Chicago Illinois Drug and Alcohol Use
In general residents in Chicago and in the state of Illinois overall consume alcohol and drugs at a rate similar to the national averages. Roughly 7 percent of Illinois residents age 12 or older reported past-month illicit drug use compared to the 8 percent national average. For alcohol 7.2 percent of residents reported past-year alcohol dependence or abuse which is slightly higher than the national average of 6.6 percent. Nearly 3 percent of individuals surveyed in Chicago and in Illinois reported past-year dependence on illicit drugs.
The statistics above are published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report shows that alcohol is the leading substance of abuse among primary treatment admissions in the state. Alcohol plays a part in 65 percent of admissions at drug rehab facilities in Illinois. 22 percent attend a treatment center for a problem with alcohol addiction alone, while another 43 percent attend for a problem involving alcohol and other drugs.
Alcohol is a substance that has a high rate of dependence in regular and heavy users. An alcohol addiction is characterized by physical dependence which produces a dangerous and uncomfortable withdrawal syndrome when the drinker tries to stop. The majority of heavy drinkers who become dependent require professional help from drug rehab programs to overcome their problem, and achieve long-term sobriety.
To help examine the illicit drug problem in the Chicago area the White House releases a state by state report every year. This report ranks the different illicit drugs for primary treatment center admissions based on attendee’s drug of choice. The following is a list of the most abused drugs in Illinois in order:
- Heroin – There are only a handful of states where heroin ranks number one for primary illicit drug treatment admissions, and Illinois is one of them. Heroin is an opiate that creates a powerful physical dependence with regular use. Heroin addiction has traditionally been centered in Chicago itself, but is now prevalent throughout the state. Many heroin addicts are unable to maintain abstinence without professional help.
- Marijuana – Pot is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and overall sends more people to substance abuse treatment programs than any other. Chicago and Illinois drug rehab programs get nearly as many primary treatment admissions for marijuana as they do for heroin.
- Cocaine – Coke is a stimulant drug that has a high rate of addiction with regular use. Cocaine addicts are faced with a strong psychological dependence, and intense cravings to use the drug in periods of abstinence. Cocaine use has declined in popularity throughout the country, but Illinois drug treatment centers still help thousands of coke addicts each year.
- Other opiates – Prescription narcotics that are prescribed for pain relief have seen a sharp increase in abuse over the last decade and a half. Painkillers have been the fastest growing class of primary treatment admissions throughout the US, and this is consistent in Illinois. Painkillers affect the body in the same way that heroin does, and a painkiller addiction can be equally difficult to overcome.
- Stimulants – Methamphetamine abuse has also been on the rise, and while the numbers are relatively low in Illinois this could change if the region starts to follow the national trend. Like cocaine meth creates a powerful psychological dependence which requires professional help to beat.
Alcohol abuse and addiction to all the substances above lead to major changes in the way that the user’s brain works. These changes produce both short-term and long-term side effects.
When an addict has become dependent they experience acute withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using which can uncomfortable and intense. These symptoms differ for each of the substances of abuse, but they are all very difficult to ignore. Withdrawal symptoms in the early period of abstinence are the largest factor contributing to relapse.
In Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois addiction is a major concern. From the numbers above you can see just how many people are afflicted each year, and these numbers don’t show any sign of decreasing. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a condition that takes more than effort to overcome. While many addicts and alcoholics would like to stop using, many of them find that they can’t own their own.
Drug rehab programs in Illinois understand the problems dependent individuals face through of the phases of their recovery. They have evolved their treatment services over the years to offer an up to date comprehensive approach that can help solve the drug problem in Chicago. This approach gets addicts through the tough withdrawal they experience right away, but also teaches them to develop skills they will be able to use to remain sober when they return home.
Effective Treatment can help to solve the Drug Problem in Chicago and throughout Illinois
We have already looked at the serious nature of the drug and alcohol addiction statistics in the Chicago area, and discussed how difficult it can be to break free from a life of dependence. Effective drug treatment programs are the best hope for helping to solve the drug problem in Illinois, but many addicts may believe that this help is beyond their reach.
Today there are more drug and alcohol rehab programs in the United States than ever before. These programs come in all shapes and sizes, and can be attended by substance abusers from all backgrounds or means. The truth is that no addict or alcoholic needs to go without help with addiction recovery if they are willing to give rehab a try.
There are long and short-term options to choose from in both inpatient and outpatient settings. There is a wide variety of addiction treatment models to choose from in both private and public facilities. There is also professional treatment program specialists who can help you find the right rehab for you based on your personal needs.
An addiction to alcohol or drugs is a complex condition that will not go away on its own. Addiction is not a phase or something that you grow out of, it is something that progresses and gets worse over time. Dependent individuals often require professional help to break free from the cycle of addiction, and this help comes from rehab treatment programs in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.