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Illinois State Police Says Meth Use Is On The Rise

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The Illinois State Police says opioid overdoses are declining, but that agency is also reporting an uptick in the use of methamphetamines. 

In the past, meth was homemade, so the state restricted access to some of the ingredients like sudafed. Now, drug cartels are smuggling the drug into the U.S.

State Police Major Troy Phillips said his task force has seen a significant increase in the amount of meth on the streets. 

“At the time, we were purchasing grams and ounces, now it’s very routine for our task force that they are purchasing pounds,” Phillips said. 

Phillips also said price is driving people toward methamphetamine, which is cheaper than heroin. He said users can get a couple of grams for methamphetamine for around $100. 

Although opioid overdoses are declining overall, they’re on the rise in black and Latino communities. 

In an attempt to address those racial disparities and the overall opioid crisis, Governor J.B. recently signed an executive order that will put $4.1 million state dollars into developing resources and prevention services for individuals that use opioids. 

One resource that has proved to be a successful factor in fighting the epidemic is the Detection Mapping Application Program, also known as OD maps. 

Major Troy Phillips says the OD Maps do more than just track overdoses. He said it helps prevent them by showing police where they might need to intervene.

“We combined efforts with our local partners to quickly track down those bad batches of heroin laced with fentanyl, and a spike in overdoses,” Phillips said. 

The maps allow public health officials, EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies to track known and suspected overdoses.

So far in Illinois, hundreds of agencies in 45 counties have entered more than 5,000 overdoses in the map system.


Olivia Mitchell is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.
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