Study: Drug arrests up in Illinois, treatment a struggle - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Study: Drug arrests up in Illinois, treatment a struggle

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Illinois ranks number two in Drug arrests nationwide. Illinois ranks number two in Drug arrests nationwide.
Preferred Family Health Care has a waiting list that lasts up to two months. Preferred Family Health Care has a waiting list that lasts up to two months.
Wayne Gilliland said many addicts won't get help until the are arrested. Wayne Gilliland said many addicts won't get help until the are arrested.
Quincy Police plan on targeting drug distributors. Quincy Police plan on targeting drug distributors.
Illinois ranks 35th in the amount of treatment centers. Illinois ranks 35th in the amount of treatment centers.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

In Illinois, police are arresting a lot of people for drugs. However, getting help for addicts isn't easy, according to a newly released Wallet Hub study. It lists Illinois as number two in the country for drug arrests, but only 35th in the number of treatment facilities.

For example, Preferred Family Health Care helps people with addiction, but every bed is full. There is also a nearly two-month waiting list.

An arrest can be a wake-up call for drug addicts to get help. But, often, treatment facilities simply don't have room for them.

"It's difficult to see. I think there are definitely people out there who want help, and are just having trouble finding it because of the resources available," Officer Nickolas Eddy with the Quincy Police Department said.

Counselors at Quincy's Preferred Family Heath Care hate to turn people away, but it's happening more than ever before.

"Especially in about the last six months, due partly to some of the other facilities in that state closing due to funding, but overall we've seem a pretty large increase," Counselor Wayne Gilliland said.

Gilliland wishes there were more facilities available, especially at a time when Quincy police report a rise in drug-related crime.

"Most people don't seek treatment until there's a crisis," Gilliland said. "For a lot of people that crisis is sitting in the back of a police car, having no other choice but to seek treatment."

It's something officers on the streets struggle with, as they fight crime that perhaps could be addressed if more people could get help. Police say people often fall into an endless cycle.

"From their perspective its probably a kick in the stomach," Officer Eddy said. "They want to get help, but they're not able to find it, so they'll have to fall back on old habits."

As part of a new approach, Quincy police say they're looking into programs that target the people distributing the drugs, instead of the drug users. 

If you or someone you know needs help fighting addiction, you can call Preferred Family Health Care's Quincy office at 217-224-6300. They will try to find a way to get you help, even with the overcrowding issues.

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