If you or a loved one have experienced substance abuse, then you know the devastating impact that it can have on the addict, a family, and the community. Across the nation, new waves of substance abuse have caused a dramatic increase in the drug-induced death toll. As state, local, and federal officials work to battle the influx of drugs into cities and towns, it is now more important than ever to seek help if you are battling addiction. There are rehabilitation facilities available to your right in the Waukegan area. Continue reading to learn more about the City of Waukegan, its substance abuse issues, and local treatment options.
Though Waukegan is the seat of Lake County, it holds a small population of only about 89,000. This figure makes Waukegan the ninth most populated city in the State of Illinois. Though the area was explored by Frenchmen as early at the mid-1600’s, Waukegan did not become established until 1725. At this time, local traders built a post and dubbed the area “Little Fort.” By 1841, Little Fort was becoming quite reputable and was named as the seat of Lake County. About eight years later, Little Fort was renamed to Waukegan, which means “Little Fort” to the native Potawatomi population.
As the city grew, Waukegan’s position along Lake Michigan allowed it to thrive economically. Industry expanded to include flour milling, shipbuilding, and farming of all kinds. The Waukegan Brewing Company, which brewed malt liquor, became one of the most popular and famous examples of the growing local economy. With the construction of railroads and ports, Waukegan became a hub of transportation in the region. The ease of travel increased Waukegan’s population and attractiveness to outsiders.
Popular local folklore includes a story about Abraham Lincoln’s inability to finish a speech in Waukegan due to the ringing of a fire alarm. The area was also home to celebrities, including famous comedian Jack Benny and well-known author Ray Bradbury. Today, Waukegan residents and visitors enjoy its diverse culture, including its “Art Wauk” events, which display several different forms of art and performances, monthly.
While the city is home to both desirable business districts and residential neighborhoods, there are plans to revitalize the downtown area. This will be done in an effort to attract businesses and visitors to the lakefront area, in hopes of boosting the local economy. Notably, Waukegan has an official “sister city,” which is located in Kiyotake, Miyazaki, Japan.
Despite Waukegan’s relatively small size, it has been no stranger to the substance abuse issues that are sweeping the nation. As illicit drugs, such as Heroin, are brought to large cities by Mexican cartels, they eventually seep into the more suburban neighborhoods, such as Waukegan. In an effort to drive out this growing epidemic, officials are increasing their efforts in the war on drugs.
Small towns and cities across America have not been immune to the growing Opiate epidemic. As these regions battle classic substances of abuse, such as Methamphetamines, Cocaine, and Marijuana, they are now faced with this new front to fight. While death tolls continue to increase, officials struggle to get a handle on the problem.
One surprising cause for this increase in addiction to Opiates is prescription pain medications. Throughout the country, doctors have been prescribing these pills at record levels. When the medication was created, it was originally thought to be relatively safe. As time went on, however, patients began to develop devastating addictions to the substance. This addiction to prescription painkillers has led the way to abuse of stronger Opiates, such as Heroin and Fentanyl.
As an addict’s prescription becomes unavailable or the pills become too expensive on the streets, he or she may look for alternatives. As such, many become addicted to cheaper, more potent Opiates. Heroin has become an increasingly popular, and deadly substance of abuse across the nation, in Illinois, in Lake County, and even in Waukegan. In fact, from 2000 to 2009, Heroin-related deaths increased approximately 130% in Lake County.
Though this statistic is alarming, local officials are doing what they can to combat the issue. They have started by equipping first responders with Naloxone, better known as Narcan. This drug is the life-saving antidote to an Opiate overdose. Within the first five months of 2015, Narcan helped save at least 12 addicts from deadly overdoses in Lake County. By the beginning of 2016, the drug was successfully used nearly 50 times throughout the community.
While Narcan isn’t a cure for the problem, local residents think it is a step in the right direction. By helping to save addicts’ lives, instead of simply incarcerating them, it removes some of the stigma and shame associated with substance abuse. As local officials continue their quest to prevent and treat substance abuse in the area, they have also conducted many successful investigations in an attempt to dismantle local drug rings. By taking this action, along with providing education to Waukegan children and families, authorities hope to stem the influx of drugs into the county.
Though Waukegan is a small city by many standards, it is also an area that offers resources to addicts and their families. If you are struggling with addiction and abuse, you no longer have to fear the shame and stigma that is so often associated with the disease. To begin your journey to a happy, healthy, and drug free life, please feel free to contact us, or one of the following treatment facilities, today. The experienced professionals at these rehabilitation centers will treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve as you start your path to recovery.
For current addicts as well as those in recovery, the Waukegan area offers several Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. These meetings are one of the many resources available to those who are struggling with addiction and substance abuse in the Waukegan area.
Furthermore, if you or a loved one have any unused, expired, or unwanted prescription medications in your medicine cabinet, please dispose of them properly. Otherwise, these drugs may end up in the wrong hands, potentially causing an addiction for a friend or family member with access to those pills. Illinois offers several resources for proper disposal of these pills. Proper removal will also help ensure that your local environment and water supply are safe.
Taking the first step and reaching out for help with addiction is often the hardest part. Once you do, however, you are on the track towards a life free of illicit substances. Don’t let drugs and alcohol continue to ruin your life, call us, or one of the above-listed treatment facilities, today for help. Remember, recovery is within your reach!
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