Illinois is a major hub for drug distribution for states throughout the Midwest. Because of its location, the ability to get in and out of state via highways and airways makes it ideal for major traffickers. There are a large number of different drug trafficking groups in Illinois, including those from Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria, West African and also street gangs. Most of the street gangs are responsible for trafficking cocaine, marijuana, crack and heroin. Violent crimes associated with drug distribution, along with gangs, within the state, pose a very serious problem and are responsible for many deaths not only in Chicago, the state?s biggest city, but also in the surrounding areas.
While cocaine and crack are a major concern for the metropolitan areas in Illinois, methamphetamine use has become a serious problem in the rural parts of the state, mostly in south and central Illinois.
A great deal of cocaine is brought in to Illinois from Mexico and is distributed mainly in Chicago. Not only for trafficking in the state but also for distribution throughout the Midwest and even all the way to New York City. Recently there has been a decrease in availability of cocaine. As a result, the price has increased a great deal. Some people believe that the reason cocaine has become less readily available is because it is becoming more difficult for traffickers to get shipments across the US border. There has been an increase in the number of seizures of shipments coming from both South and Central America.
Heroin in Illinois, especially in Chicago, is not dominated by the Mexican variety of the drug, Mexican Black Tar. Instead, much of it comes from Asia and is white heroin. It is trafficked and brought into state by West Africans and Nigerian drug traffickers. Most of it is sold by Vice Lords and Gangster Disciple gang members.
Meth use is a problem in some parts of the state. Most of it is sold by motorcycle gangs and Hispanic street gangs. While club drugs are available in Illinois, the state also acts as a distribution hub where these drugs are sent out to other states. The most commonly used and trafficked are ketamine, ecstasy, GHB and PCP.
Marijuana is the most abused drugs in Illinois and is also the most available. Most of it is brought in from Mexico, though some is cultivated in the state, both indoor and outdoors. The prescription drug abuse of hydrocodone and oxycodone is a problem for some of residents. Many go doctor shopping. However, some of it is sold by healthcare workers illegally. Besides the aforementioned prescription drugs, Benzodiazepines, methadone and methylphenidate are also commonly abused.