Drug Intelligence Center
Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
The Chicago HIDTA region has one of the largest drug abuser populations in the United States. The consequences associated with the abuse of heroin and cocaine (both powder and crack) in the HIDTA region are considerably more severe than those associated with the abuse of any other drug in any other area of the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA), Chicago and Greater Cook County accounted for more than half (51%) of all treatment provider services received by patients in Illinois in 2005. The number of heroin treatment provider services (38,611) and the number of cocaine treatment provider services (21,063) in the Chicago HIDTA region (Cook, Grundy, Kendall, and Will Counties) were both higher than the number of alcohol treatment provider services (18,553) in 2005 and represented 85 percent of all heroin treatment provider services and 60 percent of all cocaine treatment provider services, respectively, for the entire state that year. The largest percentage of these services was provided to individuals in Chicago and Greater Cook County. Furthermore, the number of heroin treatment services rendered increased 54 percent in Cook County from 2004 to 2005, while the number of cocaine treatment services increased by 11 percent. These increases are a strong indicator of the ready availability and widespread abuse of both drugs. Marijuana treatment provider services in the Chicago HIDTA region increased 14.4 percent from 2004 to 2005.
The abuse of fentanyl and heroin/fentanyl combinations distributed in Chicago is an alarming addition to the threat posed to the region. The potency of the drugs appeals to users in the area who seek a more intense euphoric effect than they can obtain from the typically lower-purity heroin available in the city. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Heroin Domestic Monitor Program (HDMP), heroin purity in Chicago declined from 30.4 percent to 14.7 percent over a 10-year period ending in 2006. (See Figure 3.)
Methamphetamine abuse has risen in most areas of Illinois; however, abuse of the drug remains low in the Chicago area. Treatment services for methamphetamine abuse in the state of Illinois increased more than treatment services for any other single primary drug in the state. Total treatment services for methamphetamine statewide increased 243.7 percent from 1,528 in 2002 to 5,252 in 2005. However, in the Chicago HIDTA region, the number of treatment services for methamphetamine abuse was insignificant when compared with the number of heroin and cocaine services. The number of methamphetamine treatment provider services rendered in the Chicago HIDTA region increased slightly, from 115 in 2004 to 124 in 2005.
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