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by Cooper Smith |  ❘ 

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois, The Windy City, has been battling its Opioid problem for years. Open-air drug markets, children born in withdrawal, and the presence of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) hold the city down. What will it take to get Chicago out of the grips of addiction? Local treatment centers, which offer a variety of healing modalities (including therapy, medication, and more) may just be the answer.

Chicago’s Opioids Out In The Open

Chicago has had a long history of Opioid abuse, before the nationwide crisis we’ve found ourselves in. The city’s open-air markets have been popping up since the 1980s. When the police or community are able to close one down, another pops up. This has kept the community susceptible to the influence of drugs and the cartels that control them. Deaths by Opioids have grown exponentially year over year.

Fentanyl In Chicago

Fentanyl, an Opioid analogue 100 times more potent than Morphine, is extremely potent and is usually undetectable when mixed with other drugs. This makes it very easy to overdose. Dealers have started using Fentanyl in other drugs without telling their sellers to cut costs and increase potency. The below statistics concern more Opioids than just Fentanyl, though Fentanyl is of chief concern.



Chicago EMS responded to 5,517 Opioid-involved calls in just the first half of 2021.



In the first 6 months of 2021, 90% of Opioid-involved fatalities in Chicago were linked to Fentanyl.



The Illinois Department Of Human Services has spent at least $13 million broadening Naloxone accessibility.

The Children Of Chicago: Born Into Addiction

If the overwhelming presence of illicit drugs wasn’t enough, more children every year are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). These are children born with symptoms of withdrawal, particularly opioid withdrawal, from their mother’s using drugs while they were pregnant.

A 2019 report from the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Advisory Committee reported that “Since 2011, the rate of NAS in Illinois has trended upward.”

Despite the hard work put in by the hospital staff working to fight this epidemic of NAS across the country, rates have grown over time, and a child born with NAS often isn’t cured. Rather, they are frequently left with long-term disabilities, cognitive issues, and problems with comprehension.

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The Presence Of DTOs In Chicago

Chicago is one of America’s most violent cities. This is, in part, due to the presence of DTOs. When multiple DTOs get their grips into a city, it is nearly impossible to get them to let go. Chicago has become a major hub for dealing and distribution throughout the Midwest, and the open-air markets create a powerful position for DTOs.

Perhaps the greatest danger to come out of this is the power vacuums that come out of shifts in territory. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was captured and extradited. The city, state, and federal government are working against both foreign and domestic DTOs; in 2019, at least 35 were charged due to their association with an organized narcotics scheme called “Sean DTO.”

Finding Help In Chicago

Recovering from addiction can be a strenuous process. If someone recovering also lives in a destructive environment, like many parts of Chicago, it can make their process even more difficult. No doubt, finding a clinic that can help them detox, recover, and stay sober is invaluable. If you or someone you know is battling addiction, treatment options are available. For more information, contact a treatment provider today.



Cooper Smith

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  • Cooper Smith earned his Bachelor’s in Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. While he was initially interested in a career in television, he saw an issue in his community and felt compelled to do something more. Now, he uses his knowledge to reach out to people who may need help and make the public aware of issues we are facing as a society. When he isn’t behind a computer, Cooper travels somewhere new.

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