Powerful drug invading cities

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) -- Many police departments have arrested hundreds of people in connection with methamphetamine. It's the main drug many police are seeing in their cities.

The WCIA-3 News email account is flooded with police reports of arrests for possession of meth all over Central Illinois. It's considered incredibly powerful. 

Debbie Huddleston says, "Eventually it takes over your brain."

The drug makes people prisoners in their own bodies. 

"It's all you think about." 

It's a drug which takes so much, even people's lives. 

"That's why we see the poor choices people make." 

 Across Central Illinois, meth is saturating the drug market.

Police Chief Jason Taylor says, "The drug industry and the drug trade ebbs and flows. Right now it’s flowing.” 

The East Central Illinois Task Force says meth makes up almost 50% of its cases and investigations.  Since 2014, officers have tracked a constant rise in the prevalence of this powerful and debilitating drug. 

Meanwhile, police are dealing with it in the city. 

"The last few months, we’ve been making an arrest or two or three each and every week for meth-related offenses."

But it's not just in Coles County. Law enforcement from Ford , Douglas, Vermilion, Macon, Piatt counties are all issuing press releases. And, the list goes on. 

"It seems to be on an uptick. In January of 2017, we had three arrests for meth-related violations. In January of 2018, we’ve had 11.”

Chief Taylor says, in his town, they're arresting more addicts than distributors. 

"Part of what we’re seeing is the devastation left by a drug ring that operated here in 2016. It was a federal investigation and several men were arrested. It created a new generation of addicts and users.” 

To this day, police are still dealing with the devastation left behind.

Huddleston says people can come back from this and there is hope. That's why several cities in Central Illinois have rehab centers. Many people can get financial help for it through their insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. 


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