If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926
If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926

Chicago Drug Statistics

Chicago Drug Statistics

Chicago is known for many things including the Bean, deep-dish pizza, the Cubs, Chicago-style hotdogs, and its unique accent.

Despite all of the wonderful aspects of the city, not everything is fine and dandy in this booming metropolis. Just like most of the world, Chicago cannot escape drug problems.

The Facts: Drug Statistics in Chicago

As a drug and alcohol rehab in Chicago, we see firsthand how these harmful substances can be, but how do the trends in the Windy City compare to Illinois and the rest of the United States? At Banyan Chicago, we are filling you in on the Chicago drug statistics that you need to know.

Opioids in Chicago

It is no secret that opioid abuse has been a growing concern in the United States in recent years, and Chicago is no exception. Illinois had a rate of 17.2 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2017; whereas, the national rate was only at 14.6 deaths per 100,000 people.1 These numbers show that Illinois is facing more problems with opioids than most other states.

These numbers are especially scary for the city itself. Data shows that there was a 270% increase in opioid analgesics overdose in Chicago from 2015 to 2016 as 111 deaths rose to 411 in one short year.2 Because of this growing trend, it is important that people get professional treatment for opioid abuse in Chicago if they struggle with an addiction. Otherwise, we could continue to see a large number of drug overdose deaths in Chicago.

Chicago Drug Trafficking

Of all of the Chicago drug statistics out there, some of the most alarming involve drug trafficking. Chicago has a rich history of organized crime and is a hub for many drug traffickers due in part to its vast trucking centers. The DEA has investigated drug trafficking in the city and has found several links between Chicago street gangs and Mexican cartels.3 From here, drug busts like Operation Chicago Connection show that drugs are being distributed outside of the state.

Chicago Drug Availability

Because Chicago is such a large hub for drug traffickers, it has also been a place of major drug seizures. In 2016, there were 44,438 drug reports for items seized by Chicago law enforcement with cannabis, heroin, and cocaine as the most seized substances, in that order.4 The number of meth lab seizures also increased by 103% from 2007 to 2012 alone.5 With drugs so readily available, especially within the last decade, it is no surprise that Chicago has had such a problem.

At Banyan Chicago, we have witnessed these changes, but there is hope. With our partial hospitalization program for addiction, many people may be able to overcome their addiction and the drug problems in Chicago could be minimalized.

If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to us immediately at 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH - Illinois Opioid Summary
  2. Illinois Department of Public Health - Opioid Overdose Semiannual Report
  3. DEA - Cartels and Gangs in Chicago
  4. NDEWS - Chicago Metro Sentinel Community Sites (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2017
  5. White House Archives - Illinois Drug Control Update

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.