›› Illinois: Drug
Chicago, Illinois is the major transportation hub and distribution center for
illegal drugs throughout the Midwest, due to its geographic location and
multi-faceted transportation infrastructure. Chicago-based street gangs control
the distribution and retail sale of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
Crack cocaine abuse is the most serious drug problem in Illinois, particularly
in Chicago and other urban areas. Treatment admissions for cocaine abuse
more than doubled in Illinois since 1990, according to the Illinois Office
of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
The Chicago, Illinois Police Department rates heroin as the second greatest
drug threat in its jurisdiction, due to increased sales and abuse. Larger
numbers of new suburban users are contributing to the resurgent popularity
of heroin. These newer users travel from the suburbs to Chicago's West Side
to purchase the drug.
Illinois remains relatively meth-free. In central and southern Illinois, outlaw
motorcycle gangs participate in manufacture, transportation, and distribution
- Club Drugs
The popularity of club drugs has increased in large part due to their hallucinogenic
and stimulating effects that purportedly enhance the rave experience. Ecstasy
is smuggled from the Netherlands, via the Israelis and/or Russians, to Chicago,
where it is distributed to Polish, Eastern Europeans, Israelis and Russians
for street-level distribution.
Marijuana remains the most widely available and abused drug in Illinois. Marijuana
abuse spans a wide spectrum of age, racial, and socioeconomic groups. Despite
a limited growing season, the fertile soil and large, sparsely populated
rural areas of Illinois attract cannabis growers.