Springfield is the state capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and it is also the county seat of Sangamon County. The city itself had a population of 116,250, as of the 2010 United States Census Bureau’s estimation, making it the sixth most populated city in the entire state. It is the largest city in all of central Illinois for one thing, and it acts as a hub too given the fact that it is the state capital.
As for the pretty chock full history of the city, present-day Springfield was first settled by European Americans in the late 1810s, around the same time that Illinois became a state. The most famous past resident is Abraham Lincoln, who lived in the city of Springfield from 1837 until 1861, when he went to the White House as President. Major tourist attractions in the city that attract thousands every year include a multitude of historic sites connected with Abraham Lincoln including his presidential museum, his home from 1837 to 1861, his tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, and the historical town of New Salem, within a short drive from the city itself.
As for its geography and its aesthetic appeal, the city of Springfield lies on a mostly flat plain that encompasses much of the surrounding countryside and general area. Hilly terrain lies near the Sangamon River too. The weather in the area is fairly typical for middle latitude locations, with hot summers and cold winters conversely. Spring and summer weather is like that of most Midwestern cities, mild, pleasant, and comfortable.
The economy of Springfield is a strong and well-established one, marked by government jobs, and the medical field both, all of which account for a large percentage of the city’s overall workforce. Many of the jobs in the city center around state government of one kind or another, headquartered in Springfield. As of 2002, the State of Illinois is both the city and county’s largest employer, employing 17,000 people across Sangamon County.
It’s not just government that makes Springfield a powerhouse city though. Trade, transportation and utilities, and the health care industries each provide between 17,000 and 18,000 jobs to the city all in all. The largest private sector employer in 2002 was Memorial Health System, with more than 3,400 people working for that company alone.
All in all, the city of Springfield is doing pretty well for itself with a strong economy, a firm grip on its infrastructure, education system, and expansion. The city has middle class income ranges, and decent housing prices. Crime rates are about average, as are unemployment levels.
Sadly, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction has finally made a strong presence in Springfield, and it has been on an order of magnitude the likes of which this city has never actually seen before. The problem has done nothing but grow worse and worse and worse as the years have gone by, and many believe that it has something to do with the ever rising drug problem that has been making such big headway in the city of Chicago. The city of Chicago has experienced the worst opiate abuse problem that this nation has ever seen in the last fifteen years and it was only a matter of time before some of those addiction problems ran off into Springfield.
Surprisingly enough though, opiates are not the number one problem when it comes to drugs and alcohol being abused in Springfield. Actually, alcohol is the number one drug that is being abused here, and it has been alcohol for some time now. Springfield is such a well policed city that few drugs have found their way in. However, that has not kept Springfield addicts from abusing something, and the vast majority of them have started to abuse alcohol since they could get it more easily. For some statistics on it:
What Springfield has done so far is apply intensive preventative measures. Prevention is all fine and good but it pales in comparison to the importance and the sheer value of inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations. With actual rehabilitation, the people who are actively abusing alcohol and other drugs in Springfield can be helped and rehabilitated. This is the key in Springfield and it is the direction the city needs to be headed in.
With inpatient rehabilitation comes a decrease in the actual numbers of people who are addicted to and abusing drugs. This significantly reduces the drug problem in any given area and makes prevention easier too. When this is done in Springfield, the whole city will experience a lot of relief from it.
Substance abuse impacts millions of Americans every day. Every corner of the nation has been affected by addiction. As the capital of Illinois, Springfield has seen its share of devastation caused by drugs and alcohol. If you or a loved one are suffering with substance abuse in Springfield, there is hope. Many resources are available to help get you back on the track to a happy, healthy, and drug free life. Keep reading to find out more about Springfield, its substance abuse issues, and local treatment options.
In 1818, trappers and traders came to the area that is now known as Springfield, Illinois. They saw the nearby Sangamon River as the perfect location for their post. Originally, the area was named Calhoun, after a popular South Carolina Senator. In large part because of this newly established commerce, as well as its farming potential, the area was established as the seat of Sangamon County.
In the 1830’s, Calhoun was renamed to Springfield, as an homage to the City of Springfield in Massachusetts. At the time, Springfield, Massachusetts was a thriving city and positive example of what the founders of Springfield, Illinois aspired to be. Though Springfield was the original county seat, it was not the first capital of Illinois. In fact, it was the third, following Kaskaskia and Vandalia.
Perhaps the most famous resident of Springfield, Illinois was President Abraham Lincoln. Though he had been in the area for several years, he officially moved to the city in 1837. Not surprisingly, Springfield was also a major player during the Civil War years. Many regimens trained there, and its established industry helped aid in the war effort.
Despite two devastating tornados, which caused over $100 million dollars in damage in 2006, Springfield still thrives, today. Its 117,000 inhabitants, as well as countless visitors, enjoy the city’s zoos, gardens, parks, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and shopping scene. Its many historical sites, including those related to the famous 16th president of the United States, makes Springfield a popular tourist attraction.
Despite its attractive and exciting culture, Springfield still suffers from the same substance abuse issues that have been sweeping the nation. While Springfield is a relatively small city, and only the 6th biggest municipality in the state, it faces some very real substance abuse problems that are typically associated with larger metropolitan areas. Local officials have fought back against the rising tide of drug abuse, and many treatment facilities are ready to help those who are willing to begin a substance-free lifestyle.
Across the country, authorities are fighting classic substances of abuse, such as Cocaine and Marijuana. While they fight this old battle, they are now faced with the task of defeating an influx of Opiates, such as Heroin. Fighting a drug problem on multiple fronts has been difficult for officials across the United States, but many communities are learning to cope with the setback.
As local, state, and federal officials fight back against substance abuse, they have learned one very concerning cause for the rise in Opiate use: prescription painkillers. In recent years, well-intentioned physicians have been prescribing medications such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone at unprecedented levels. While these pain pills were once thought to be relatively safe, they have proven to be deadly.
Opiate abuse can start as easily as taking a prescription as directed. The addictive nature of the medication can lead patients to form a dangerous habit, even seeking the pills illicitly on the streets. The cost of painkillers, however, can be prohibitive, which has led countless addicts to pursue a cheaper alternative. Thus, to maintain their addiction, users frequently turn to substances such as Heroin or Fentanyl. Though less costly, these Opiates can be far more potent and deadly.
In Springfield, these drugs are cheap and widely available, which has caused an increase in fatal overdoses throughout the city. No community is immune to the grasp of Opiates, they have impacted people of all genders, races, and socioeconomic statuses. The Springfield Police Department says that they have seen a drastic rise in Heroin abuse in the last several years. In fact, in 2015, the department seized approximately three times more Heroin than in 2014. This alarming figure has added to the growing drug-related death toll in Sangamon County.
Because of the influx of the drug, Heroin has beat out Crack Cocaine for the number one drug of abuse in Springfield. Methamphetamine users have even begun to switch to Heroin, partially because of a new law making it more difficult to obtain a necessary ingredient to manufacture the Meth. This shifting paradigm has lead to further complications for officials who must understand and keep track of the changing trends in drug abuse.
According to the Springfield Police Department, the Opiates originally flowed in from larger cities, such as Minneapolis, but the explosion in Heroin abuse truly began with the influx of the drug from Mexican cartels. These cartels have successfully infiltrated borders in order to supply these deadly Opiates to states across the nation. Sadly, in 2015 alone, Sangamon County saw approximately 36 Opiate overdose deaths. At least 20 of these deaths were directly related to Heroin, and much of the remainder was attributed to painkillers.
In an effort to combat the Heroin epidemic, Illinois is implementing a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The program began with the hopes of stemming abuse of prescription substances, which often leads to addiction and use of street drugs. This information is used to prevent substance abuse, in conjunction with increased education to children and families across the state. As an added effort, Springfield Police units are now equipped with Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan. This substance is the antidote to an Opiate overdose, and has saved lives throughout Springfield since its introduction to the city.
If you or a loved one feel alone in your fight against substance abuse, there is still hope. The Springfield area has a number of professional, high quality resources available to those who are struggling with drug and alcohol use. You no longer have to deal with the cycle of addiction if you take the first step and reach out for help. If you are ready to change your life, please call us, or one of the following treatment centers, today.
To ensure that unused, expired, or unwanted prescription medications do not end up in the wrong hands. Illinois offers several resources for proper disposal of these pills. Springfield also offers plentiful Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous resources for those who are suffering with addiction or are currently in recovery.
We know that taking the first step towards a better future can be difficult, but it may just save your life. To start your journey to recovery, please contact us, or any of the above-listed treatment facilities, today.
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