Substance abuse is a growing problem that has touched nearly every community across the nation. The Opiate epidemic, which has devastated countless families, has not left Illinois unscathed. In fact, officials in Will County, including Joliet, are coming to terms with the influx of drugs and are taking action to stop it in its tracks. To learn more about Joliet, its substance abuse issues, and local treatment options, please continue reading.
Joliet, which was originally incorporated as the town of Juliet in 1834, is now the fourth largest city in Illinois. The original village was officially changed to the City of Joliet in 1852. The name was inspired by a well-known explorer, Louis Jolliet, who travelled through the area in 1673. Since it’s inception, Joliet has been a jack-of-all-trades. Workers came from all over the world to join one of Joliet’s many industries, including stone quarrying, steel milling, and transportation. Its close proximity to railroads, waterways, and highways made traveling to and from Joliet easy for residents, visitors, and businesses.
Eventually, Joliet became a bustling center for commerce, everything from horseshoes to bricks and cans were being manufactured there. In more modern times, Joliet was even home to a Seven-Up bottling plant, a brewery, and a greeting card manufacturer. Joliet is also home to many historical sites, including the nation’s first public community college.
Despite enjoying a growing economy since the late 1800’s, Joliet began to falter around the 1970’s. Many of Joliet’s manufacturing companies began outsourcing their labor to cheaper, foreign countries. This economic shift led to numerous abandoned factories and left many residents jobless. In fact, by 1983, Joliet’s unemployment rate reached as high as 26%.
Today, the City of Joliet has bounced back, to some degree. While many of its residents still work in different counties, the downtown area has experienced some revitalization. The introduction of Riverboat Casinos and the construction of professional car racing venues have brought employment and visitors to the city. While Joliet is still not as attractive to business owners as it once was, the unemployment rate has since declined to approximately 8.6%. This uptick in Joliet’s economy has lead to an increase in population, which currently sits at nearly 150,000.
Though Joliet has undergone some revitalization, it has experienced the same drug abuse trend that is sweeping Illinois and the entire country. Officials are now battling a new wave of illicit substances, and hoping to treat those who have fallen into the cycle of addiction.
Abuse of Heroin and other Opiates have reached epidemic levels in communities across the United States. Unlike other drugs, such as Cocaine, a Heroin addiction can actually begin with a doctor’s prescription. In the last decade, physicians have overprescribed painkillers, such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone to patients of all types. What was once touted as a safe drug, however, has turned out to have deadly consequences.
The addictive nature of the pills has lead many patients to form a habit, eventually seeking the drug from several doctors or illicitly on the streets. If the prescription becomes unavailable or too expensive, many addicts turn to cheaper and more potent alternatives such as Heroin and Fentanyl. Overdoses caused by Opiates have been on the rise, nationwide, and have dramatically increased the drug-induced death toll.
In Will County, of which Joliet is the seat, the Heroin crisis has reached record levels. In 2012, the county experienced 53 lethal Heroin overdoses. While that number declined slightly in 2013 and 2014, it was expected to increase again in 2015. As of September of 2015, there were already 36 Heroin-related deaths; more fatalities were expected by the year’s end. Compared to the early 2000’s, when there were only a handful of Heroin deaths in Will County per year, this figure seems unfathomable.
One cause for the recent spike in overdoses is the introduction of an Opiate called Fentanyl, which can be up to 5 times more potent than Heroin. Often, Heroin is laced with the deadly substance, with or without the addict’s knowledge. Whether addicts are trying to seek a new high, or whether the dealer sold unwitting users the drug, it has had deadly consequences.
The trend has also hit upon every community in Will County and Joliet. Drugs are no longer an inner city, low-income problem. Everyone from teens to adults (of all races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses) have been impacted by the Opiate epidemic. The widespread abuse of Opiates has lead to a call for action from Will County and Joliet residents. Many who have lost loved ones to addiction want to see an end to the growing drug problem.
To fight the trend, Joliet Police, in conjunction with federal officials, have conducted many thorough and fruitful investigations, including the most recent “Operation Red Baron,” which is touted to greatly reduce the influx of drugs to the streets of Joliet. As another measure to combat substance abuse, Joliet police officers are now equipped with Naloxone, or Narcan, which is the life-saving antidote to an Opiate overdose. The kits have already proven helpful in saving the lives of addicts who may have otherwise died from the substance. Though it is not a cure for addiction, many residents see it as a step in the right direction.
While the Opiate crisis is in full effect in the City of Joliet, officials and authorities are taking action to educate the public on the dangers of substance abuse. There are also many facilities and resources available to those who suffer from substance abuse and addiction.
Substance abusers often experience shame and stigma in relation to their addiction. This can lead them to avoid getting the help they need to overcome their problems. Right in the Joliet, IL area, however, there are many resources available to this vulnerable population. By contacting us, or one of the following treatment facilities, you or a loved one can begin a shame-free journey to a long-term recovery.
There are also many Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings available right in Joliet. These groups offer support to current addicts and those in recovery, on a daily basis.
In an effort to ensure that unused or expired medications do not get in the wrong hands, Will County also has resources for disposal of these pills. Properly removing these drugs from your medicine cabinet at home will help reduce the risk that a loved one will become addicted to the substance. As an added bonus, it helps the environment since medications should never be flushed or put down the drain.
For more information on the City of Joliet, substance abuse, and treatment options, please feel free to contact us, or one of the listed treatment facilities, today. Seeking help for substance abuse is the first step towards a happy, healthy, and drug free life.
At DrugRehabilitation.net we provide information and professional, successful addiction treatment programs for the solution to addiction. Contact us today at
1 (269) 704-7243 or simply fill out the short form below:
All of Your Information is 100% Confidential