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An Inside Look at Meth in Illinois

An Inside Look at Meth in Illinois

No matter how well law enforcement does their job or what laws may be in place, every state has their issues when it comes to drugs.

From illegal drug trade to production, illicit drugs can cause a variety of problems. Some states are in better shape than others, and the type of drug that is causing issues can also range drastically depending on the geographic location. For the state of Illinois, meth is part of their drug problem.

What Is Meth?

Meth, more formally called methamphetamine, is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. Although it does have some limited medical purposes, including treating ADHD, meth is a highly addictive substance that is often abused. Users will smoke, snort, or even inject this drug in order to get high and many will become dependent on this substance. This drug is often accompanied with serious consequences, such drastic cosmetic damage, and meth rehab is usually needed to help the user quit.

Meth in Illinois by the Numbers

Although the opioid epidemic has taken center stage, methamphetamine in Illinois is still a big problem.  

In 2017, the DEA seized 72.9kg of meth in Illinois, but in 2018, this number jumped to 289.9kg.1 Over the course of just one year, the amount of meth seized by law enforcement more than doubled.

Part of this problem is the influx of meth into the United States from Mexican cartels, and the other part is the number of meth labs in Illinois and the United States. Although meth lab seizures in Illinois reached its lowest point in 2000,2 this number has been rising steadily. From 2007 to 2012, Illinois meth lab seizures exceeded the national average,3 and these numbers have continued to rise. By 2015, there were 723 meth lab seizures in Illinois, making it the sixth highest state for lab busts that year.2

Because meth appears to be more readily available in the state, more people are getting treatment for this drug as well. In 2000, less than one percent of people entering an Illinois substance abuse treatment center cited meth as their primary substance of abuse, but by 2017, this number rose to 6.5%.4

Dealing with Illinois’s Meth Problems

There are two ways to approach Illinois’s meth problem: prevention and treatment.

Prevention involves trying to lower the number of new users. One way to go about this is with education. If people better understand the health effects of meth use, they may be less inclined to try this drug in the first place. The Illinois Meth Project was launched in 2008 and pushed out ads on various media outlets that stated “Meth. Not even once.” but the project dwindled with the rising opioid crisis.5 Illinois has other drug preventions programs in place, but the state has largely focused on curbing the opioid crisis in more recent years than it has on combating meth use.2

For those who are already addicted to methamphetamine, prevention won’t help. It is important for these people to get treatment and have drug resources available to them. An Illinois meth detox center may be able to help them quit for good.

If you or a loved one is addicted to meth or another drug, the time is now to get help. At Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland, we focus on helping people find lasting sobriety. Call us today at 888-280-4763 so that we can answer your questions and the road to recovery can begin.


  1. NBC5 Chicago – Meth Making a Comeback in Illinois: DEA
  2. NPR – Illinois Issues: Focus On Heroin Leaves Little Attention On Meth
  3. Obama White House – Illinois Drug Control Update
  4. ICJIA – A State and National Overview of Methamphetamine Trends
  5. Galesburg – Illinois Meth Project message: ‘Not even once’
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.