While much media attention is focused on the opioids epidemic, fewer headlines are devoted to the resurgence of methamphetamine. The powerful stimulant has regained the popularity it had back in the 1990s and early 2000s.
According to research by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, meth-related drug arrests have increased significantly in our state in the past few years.
The ICJIA says two main factors are responsible for the resurgence of meth use in Illinois: efforts to combat opioid abuse have reduced easy access to the drugs and meth has at the same time become cheaper and purer.
The ICJIA says much of the meth used in Illinois is from Mexico. The organization’s map of where meth use and arrests are heaviest in the state shows that the recent surge is affecting McHenry County, next to Cook County, as well as western areas such as Hancock, Adams and Pike counties and several counties in the central and southeastern parts of the state.
In fact, the ICJIA says in its report, arrests in Illinois for meth-related offenses soared 289 percent from 2010 to 2017, rising from less than one percent of all drug arrests to six percent in that period.
The ICJIA also points out that most of those arrested are male (66 percent) and white (91 percent).
Last year, the Illinois Department of Corrections said that 18 percent of those incarcerated for drug-related convictions last year were put behind bars on meth-related charges that include trafficking, manufacturing and possession.
Those who face the possibility of prison time on drug charges should decline to speak to prosecutors or investigators before talking with a Chicago criminal defense attorney experienced in drug defense in state and federal court systems, as well as in asset seizure matters.