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While most heroin users in Chicago are African American, heroin abuse by young white users is increasing ificantly in the Chicago suburbs.

The street cost of heroin

Chicago is both a major destination for heroin and a transshipment point for heroin destined for other areas in the Great Lakes Region and the Midwest. Nigerian and Colombian heroin traffickers use couriers aboard commercial aircraft and package services to import heroin into the state. Most retail heroin sales in Chicago take place on the West Side in a vast open-air drug market dominated by African-American street gangs such as the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords.

Heroin abuse in the Chicago area is a ificant problem that has increased over the past decade. The Chicago Police Department reports that heroin abuse is increasing, and it rates heroin as the second greatest drug threat in its jurisdiction. Indicators of heroin abuse, such as treatment admissions and overdoses in Chicago, have been increasing for the past decade, according to CEWG statistics. Increasing s of suburban users are contributing to the resurgent popularity of heroin. Innearly 70 percent of the heroin users in Chicago described themselves as daily users, more than double the of crack users who admitted daily use.

The street price of a gram of heroin

While most heroin users in Chicago are African American, heroin abuse by young white users is increasing ificantly in the Chicago area. Between andthere was a 26 percent increase in heroin ED mentions among Caucasians, a 6 percent increase among African Americans, and a 5 percent increase among Hispanics. Chicago Police Department narcotics officers are arresting more suburban white youth for heroin purchases than in years.

For example, over the past 2 years police in Naperville, a Chicago suburb, identified and tracked at least 40 high school age heroin users who regularly traveled to Chicago's West Side to purchase heroin. Between andthe percentage of to year-old arrestees in Chicago testing positive for opiates fell more than 60 percent. While this may seem to contradict reports of increased heroin abuse by youth, it is likely that these new white suburban users have the ability to support their addictions without resorting to stealing or other activities that expose them to the possibility of arrest.

How much do drugs cost: the steep price of addiction

To Top To Contents. Most heroin abusers in the Chicago area inhale or snort the drug. Prior to the s, Chicago's heroin user population consisted of aging addicts who had injected heroin for many years. New users, typically young, white suburbanites, look down on older "junkies" who inject heroin.

Newer heroin users initially snort heroin, although some eventually switch to injection because as tolerance levels increase, users must snort larger doses to achieve the desired effects. New users are less likely to view heroin as dangerous since the junkie stigma is no longer associated with heroin abuse. Heroin use has been glamorized in the fashion and music industries, further softening the attitudes of youth about heroin.

How much does heroin cost?

Some young people take heroin to offset the effects of club drugs such as MDMA at rave parties. The use of heroin with cocaine speedballing has increased in the Chicago area. Other indicators that point to an increase in heroin abuse include a 60 percent increase in heroin-related deaths in Chicago in and an additional 12 percent increase in See Chart 3.

Data from the last 6 months of reveal that these s rose ificantly and are approaching the highest rate of heroin abuse mentions perrecorded in the United States since ADAM data have been collected. Chart 3. To Top To Contents Availability The heroin market in Chicago has undergone a ificant transformation over the past 15 years.

A major change in the type and quantity of heroin in Chicago took place in following DEA's Operation Durango, which targeted the Herrera organization's drug operations. The Herrera organization supplied virtually the entire Chicago heroin market with Mexican brown powdered and black tar heroin.

The success of Operation Durango limited the availability of Mexican heroin and opened a window of opportunity for Nigerians to smuggle SEA heroin into Chicago. Nigerians had readily available supplies of heroin from sources in Thailand and other areas of Southeast Asia. The remaining samples were not identifiable. Figure 2.

Inthere were 40 DMP purchases in the Chicago area. A source was determined for 20 samples. Of the 20 samples, 13 were found to be South American in origin, 6 were found to be Southeast Asian in origin, and 1 was found to be Southwest Asian in origin. Note: Only those samples within the Chicago city limits are depicted here.

The availability of less expensive, higher purity white heroin from Southeast Asia and South America primarily Colombialed to increased abuse over the past decade, particularly in the Chicago area. Prices for a milligram of pure heroin in Chicago are at their lowest level in a decade.

See Table 4 for current prices in Chicago. Higher purity heroin allows users to effectively smoke or snort the drug rather than inject it. Heroin purity at the retail level in Chicago rose from percent in the early s to an average of percent since Additionally, heroin abuse is increasing not only in low-income urban areas, but also in the more affluent suburbs and especially among teenagers.

Table 4. Heroin Prices, Chicago, White Heroin White heroin refers to any heroin that is white, off-white, or tan in color.

Many law enforcement agencies do not conduct the chemical tests that are required to identify the source country. The amount of heroin seized by law enforcement agencies validates the high level of availability in Illinois. Heroin seizures by state and local law enforcement agencies greatly increased since Seizures by the Chicago Police Department continue to increase; the amount of white heroin seized in was nearly three times the amount seized in Illinois State Police statistics for show that 98 percent of the total heroin seized in Illinois was in Cook County.

The average purity of these heroin exhibits was The Chicago Police Department also reports an increase in the availability of SA heroin and lists the primary transporters of all heroin into Chicago as Colombian, Nigerian, and Mexican criminal groups in order of priority.

Although all types of heroin SEA, SA, Mexican brown powdered and black tar, and SWA are reportedly available, user preference has shifted from Mexican brown powdered heroin to higher purity white heroin.

Although heroin availability currently is concentrated in Chicago and its suburbs, reports indicate that availability is rising in surrounding counties as well. Heroin is only rarely available in other parts of the state.

Heroin and opioid addiction statistics

When available, it is most often white heroin. Chicago is a hub for Nigerian heroin trafficking activity in the United States. Before the recent increase in SA heroin availability, Nigerians controlled the heroin market in the Chicago area. To Top To Contents Violence Most federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in Illinois cite violent crime associated with gang-related drug trafficking activity as the most serious criminal threat to the state. Gangs are the primary street-level distributors of heroin and other drugs in Illinois.

Gang migration from Chicago to other urban areas and to suburban and rural areas has increased the availability of drugs, and consequently the associated violent criminal activity in these areas. Most retail heroin sales in Chicago take place on the West Side where buyers are able to purchase heroin in gang-controlled areas without fear for their personal safety. Gangs such as the Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords have established alliances, putting profits ahead of rivalries. Gang members who sell heroin on street corners provide security to ensure that buyers return to their locations on a regular basis.

How much do drugs cost?

Drug sale areas, particularly on the West Side of Chicago, are well defined, resulting in few turf wars. Hispanic sections on the North Side, where these gang arrangements do not exist, are more susceptible to drug turf wars associated with heroin and other drug sales. Crime associated with heroin abusers is fueled in part by the large s who describe themselves as daily users. In a National Institute of Justice survey of heroin users in six major cities, 70 percent of Chicago heroin addicts surveyed described themselves as daily users.

The cost depends on the type of drug

Chicago drug abusers had the highest reported rate of participation 24 percent in illegal activities to pay for drugs. Opium is not cultivated in Illinois nor is heroin produced.

Heroin producers in Mexico are changing their product to meet the demand for higher purity heroin that has developed in Chicago's heroin market. A growing category of young, white, suburban heroin users in the Chicago area prefer higher purity white heroin over Mexican brown powdered or black tar heroin. Chicago is a major destination as well as a transshipment point for various types of heroin. Responses to the NDIC National Drug Threat Survey demonstrate that states within the region cite Chicago as the distribution center for the heroin sold in their jurisdictions.

Airports remain the prevalent seizure points for heroin smuggled into the United States.

More than half of all heroin seized is confiscated from couriers on commercial aircraft--carrying the heroin internally, on their persons, or in their luggage. Colombian heroin trafficking groups that smuggle SA heroin into the Chicago area use couriers who ingest pellets of the drug.