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Publication Date: January 2001
Illinois Drug Threat Assessment
Archived on: January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.
This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat in Illinois. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat in Illinois.
Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time. Addresses are provided at the end of the document.
Other Dangerous Drugs
List of Tables
Table 1. Primary Drug Traffickers, Chicago, 2000
Table 2. Cocaine and Heroin Abusers, Cook County, 1995
Table 3. Cocaine Prices, Chicago, 2000
Table 4. Heroin Prices, Chicago, 2000
Table 5. Marijuana Prices, Chicago, 2000
Table 6. Cannabis Seizures, Illinois, 1998
Table 7. Methamphetamine Prices, Chicago, 2000
Table 8. Other Dangerous Drug Prices, 2000
List of Charts
Chart 1. Illinois State Drug Arrests
Chart 2. Chicago DAWN Cocaine Drug Abuse Deaths
Chart 3. Chicago DAWN Heroin Drug Abuse Deaths
Chart 4. Percentage of Students using Marijuana in Past Year
Chart 5. Illinois Marijuana Arrests
Chart 6. CEWG Chicago Marijuana Mentions per 100,000
List of Figures
Figure 1. Chicago and Surrounding Areas
Figure 2. DEA 1999 DMP Purchase Sites
Figure 3. Cities Reporting Chicago as a Heroin Distribution Center or Destination
The state of Illinois, specifically the Chicago area, is the focal point for the flow of illicit drugs into the Great Lakes Region. Chicago is the major hub for the delivery and transshipment of drugs throughout the Great Lakes Region and the Midwest. Three major types of trafficking groups are responsible for most of the drugs in Illinois. Mexican polydrug organizations, Colombian drug organizations trafficking in cocaine and heroin, and Nigerian groups trafficking in Southeast Asian heroin are the major transporters and wholesale distributors of drugs in Chicago. The most common means traffickers use to transport drugs into Chicago are commercial trucks, passenger vehicles, package delivery services, air packages or couriers, and railways. Organized street gangs such as the Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, and Latin Kings control the distribution and retail sale of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Violent crime associated with street gangs, while declining in some major urban areas, is increasing in suburban and rural areas of the state as these gangs expand their drug markets.
Drugs are readily available throughout the state; however, the nature of the drug threat in Illinois varies by region. The primary drug threats in the Northern and Central U.S. Attorney Districts of Illinois and in the urban areas of the Southern District are the availability of powdered cocaine and the distribution and abuse of crack cocaine. Treatment admissions for cocaine abuse in Illinois more than doubled between 1990 and 1997 and have stabilized at a high level. Crack cocaine abuse by Hispanics, females, and youth is increasing. In 1995, Cook County alone was estimated to have over 266,000 hardcore cocaine abusers. Law enforcement sources report that violent crime associated with the sale and abuse of crack is one of the most serious problems in Illinois.
The increasing availability of high purity heroin and the number of new users represent a secondary threat, particularly in the Chicago area. Increasing numbers of young, white, suburban users are contributing to the resurgent popularity of heroin. The availability of less expensive, higher purity heroin led to increased abuse over the past decade.
Marijuana remains the most readily available and most abused drug in Illinois. Marijuana abuse spans a wide spectrum of age, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Abuse by young people has increased dramatically since the early 1990s. Over the past 10 years, marijuana abuse by eighth-grade students has tripled.
Methamphetamine production and abuse are expanding from states that border Illinois such as Missouri, Iowa, and Indiana into rural areas of Illinois in the Southern and Central U.S. Attorney Districts. Methamphetamine is growing in popularity because it has a lower cost and longer euphoric effect than crack cocaine. The rate of increase in the number of methamphetamine laboratories in Illinois parallels previous increases in other states in the region. The number of laboratory seizures in these other states has escalated significantly.
Other Dangerous Drugs such as MDMA (or ecstasy), ketamine, and GHB are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among young people in urban areas and in college towns.
National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901
Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807
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