Substance abuse has had dire consequences for families and communities throughout the nation. When loved ones are trapped in the endless cycle of addiction, it may seem like nothing else matters to them. As such, friends and family are left to deal with the fallout of substance abuse. With the introduction of potent drugs, such as Heroin, into even the smallest towns, it seems as though no community has been left untouched. Despite being a small portion of the City of Peoria, North Peoria has shared the substance abuse struggle with its parent municipality. Keep reading to learn more about North Peoria, its substance abuse issues, and local treatment options.
What was once a small camp in the late 1600’s developed into Illinois’ oldest European establishment. The City of Peoria grew from this small fort to a well-developed, highly functional, and economically sound municipality. As it grew, the city was divided into subsections, with North Peoria being one of the main districts. Subsequently, neighboring towns were developed under the same scheme, and were named East Peoria and West Peoria.
Today, a majority of the city sits on the banks of the Illinois River and is home to many large corporations, including the Caterpillar Company, which has been an industry leading tractor manufacturer since its inception. The company employs over 15,000 area residents, including many from North Peoria.
Not only is the city home to many businesses, it is also boasts several desirable residential neighborhoods. Numerous old mills, which are situated along the river, have been converted into condominiums with spectacular views. With this is mind, it is no wonder that the city has been consistently ranked as both a top place to live and to conduct business.
Furthermore, not only do residents and business professionals enjoy the city, visitors do, as well. The city contains many parks, zoos, gardens, museums, and other entertainment venues that are fit for tourism. Throughout the years, this mix of businesses, residential areas, and tourist attractions have helped Peoria and North Peoria thrive, while many other Midwestern manufacturing cities fell into disaster.
Despite its thriving economy and attractive residences, North Peoria has seen its share of substance abuse and addiction problems. Even idyllic little cities and areas such as North Peoria are not immune to the growing substance abuse issues that face our entire nation.
Abuse of Heroin has led to a drastic increase in overdoses and fatalities across the country. While law enforcement continues to battle classic drugs of abuse, such as Cocaine and Marijuana, they are now tasked with fighting the influx of Opiates. This lethal class of drugs is highly addictive, cheap, and easily obtainable throughout the region.
One surprising cause of the rise in Opiate abuse has been the increase in prescriptions for painkillers such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. These drugs, which physicians initially thought of as safe, have proven to have deadly consequences. The addictive nature of these pain pills has caused many an unsuspecting patient to go down a path of addiction and substance abuse. Simply taking the medication as prescribed may be enough to start an addiction.
Once this addiction has set in, patients begin to “doctor shop” in an effort to get the maximum amount of prescriptions from several medical facilities. To avoid this, some even obtain the pills illicitly from the streets. Over time, however, these pills become costly and many addicts look for a more effective high. This behavior leads to addiction to stronger substances such as Heroin or Fentanyl. While these drugs are cheaper, they are far more potent and lethal.
In Peoria County in 2013, there were at least 49 drug-related deaths on record. Approximately 15 of these deaths were directly caused by Heroin. While Heroin is a major drug of abuse in the North Peoria area, the local police department estimates that they respond to at least two overdoses every day for drugs of several varieties.
To fight back against substance abuse, North Peoria law enforcement and first responders have been equipped with Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan. This drug is the antidote to an Opiate overdose and has saved the lives of numerous area residents. In fact, first responders had used the drug over 700 times by October of 2015 alone. This figure already represents an 80% increase in use of Narcan in 2014. Today, anyone can pick up a Narcan kit for free; authorities urge friends and family of known addicts to get the drug and to educate themselves on its use.
Though overdoses are a frequent occurrence in the area, bystanders often fail to alert authorities, for fear of prosecution. Local officials are urging those who witness an overdose to call for help, Narcan can save the life of an addict and authorities can set the individual up with the resources they need to live a clean life. Police have told the public that they won’t arrest anyone who makes such a life-saving call, uses Narcan on an addict, or experiences an overdose his or herself. This promise is part of a growing trend to provide substance abusers with help, as opposed to incarceration.
While Opiates abuse is on the rise throughout the city, there are options available to North Peoria residents who are struggling with addiction. Many treatment facilities are ready and willing to take patients who want to live a happy, healthy, and drug free lifestyle.
If you or someone you know is suffering with substance abuse, do not hesitate to reach out for help. When you contact us, or one of the following treatment facilities, you have already taken the first step towards recovery. The experienced and knowledgeable professionals at North Peoria area treatment facilities are ready to help you obtain the life you desire. They will treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve as you take the time to focus on your recovery.
The Peoria area also holds several Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, daily, for those struggling with addiction and abuse. If you or a loved one are storing unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medications, don’t leave them laying around in the medicine cabinet, dispose of them properly using one of North Peoria’s prescription medication disposal resources. If not disposed of properly, these pills can get in the wrong hands and can even lead to an addiction for a friend or family member. As an added bonus, proper disposal helps keep the environment and water supply clean and safe; remember to never flush pills down the drain!
Don’t wait another day to seek help in your own personal battle with drugs and alcohol. By calling us, or one of the above-referenced treatment facilities, you will be on your way towards a happy, healthy, drug free life.
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