Law enforcement survey shows threats from heroin, prescription drugs, and methamphetamine

A statewide survey on drug threats was commenced in April 2016 by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (CJIA). CJIA asked a sample of police chiefs and county sheriffs to identify the drugs in their jurisdictions that they saw most frequently trafficked. Eighty-three chief law enforcement officers responded to the questionnaire. In results published this week, the police chiefs identified heroin and prescription drugs (many of them opiate painkillers) as the most-frequently-trafficked substances within their jurisdictions. The illegal sale of these drugs is a criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act.

In addition to the threats from heroin and prescription drugs, chief law enforcement officers in central and southern Illinois identified methamphetamine as the chief drug threat to their communities. Methamphetamine arrests are concentrated in these sections of Downstate Illinois, with 86% of total Illinois meth arrests in these regions. Some police chiefs also identified threats from cocaine and marijuana. Sixty-eight municipal police chiefs and 15 county sheriffs, representing 35% of the Illinois population and 51% of total jurisdictional drug arrests, responded to the CJIA survey.