Interstate 88, I-290 and Roosevelt Road have become affectionately known as the heroin highways as they transport more and more suburbanites from the outskirts of the city into Chicago looking to get some heroin. The problem only seems to be getting worse, according to the Herald News.
While heroin use has continued to fall within the city of Chicago, the same can’t be said for the suburbs surrounding it. More and more people from the outer lying areas are finding themselves hooked on the dangerously addictive substance that first became popular in the 1970s.
Areas like Elgin and Naperville are seeing more heroin arrests and more overdose deaths as recreational users turn to the hard stuff.
Heroin was once associated with junkies shooting up black tar into their veins. Now, the image is a little cleaner, the heroin white like cocaine, and the needle is totally optional—perhaps all leading more people to try the drug.
Although the heroin is whiter and easier to ingest than it was before, it’s also far more pure.
Heroin is cheap, particularly when you compare it to pharmaceutical opiates, which are being considered as gateway drugs to heroin. Someone may start out taking an opiate for pain after an accident, for example, get hooked and need more and more to satisfy their habit. When a pill habit reaches several hundred dollars a day, heroin provides a cheap and potent alternative.
According to the Herald News:
Between 1998 and 2007, hospital discharges for heroin users ages 20 to 24 decreased 67 percent in Chicago. Meanwhile, the collar counties saw a 200 percent increase, according to “Understanding Suburban Heroin Use,” a study commissioned and funded by the Robert Crown Center for Health Education.
The image of heroin is far less frightening now than it was twenty and thirty years ago. Now, younger people may see this as just another opiate, not that different from the pills they have tried, and therefore not that big of a risk.
But even when you take out the health risks of heroin, the legal risks are similarly severe.
Even being caught with as little as a few grams of heroin can land you in prison for up to 3 years, and earn you a permanent label as a convicted felon.
Sometimes, it’s not until someone is arrested for heroin that they realize they need help. Fortunately, criminal charges sometimes come with treatment options. Whether your case can be heard in drug court or if we can work with the prosecutor on getting you into treatment—there are options available. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.