Updated on May 17, 2024
2 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Illinois

Illinois has been grappling with a significant drug and alcohol addiction crisis, which has had far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities across the state. This article presents an overview of the latest statistics on the opioid crisis, overdose deaths, youth alcohol and substance use, alcohol use and outcomes, and drug overdose trends in Illinois, highlighting the urgent need for effective solutions.

  • In 2022, there were 3,261 opioid overdose fatalities in Illinois, marking an 8.2% increase from 2021.1
  • Cook County confirmed 2,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2022, with more than 91% involving fentanyl.2
  • In 2022, opioid deaths were 2.7 times more than car crash deaths and 2.5 times more than homicides in Illinois.1
Illinois chart 1

Opioid Crisis and Overdose Deaths

The opioid epidemic has hit Illinois particularly hard, with a significant increase in overdose deaths in recent years. Here are some key statistics:

  • Since 2013, synthetic opioid overdose deaths have increased by 3,341%.1
  • In contrast, heroin overdose deaths have decreased by 9.9% since 2013.1
  • In 2022, there were 21,922 EMS responses to opioid overdoses.1

These numbers demonstrate the severity of the opioid crisis and the need for effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Youth Alcohol and Substance Use

Alcohol and substance use among young people in Illinois is a growing concern. Consider these statistics:

  • In 2017-2018, 19.8% of Illinois youth between 12 and 20 consumed alcohol in the past month.3
  • Among high school students, 61% had tried alcohol and 36% had tried marijuana.4
Illinois chart 2

Early intervention and prevention efforts are crucial to help young people avoid developing substance use disorders.

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Alcohol Use and Outcomes

Alcohol use is prevalent in Illinois, contributing to various negative outcomes. Here are some relevant statistics:

  • In 2017, an estimated 60% of Chicagoans drank alcohol in the past 30 days.5
  • Alcohol accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in Chicago.5

Addressing alcohol-related issues through prevention and treatment is essential for improving public health and safety in Illinois.

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Drug Overdose Trends

Drug overdose deaths have been on the rise in Illinois, with opioids playing a significant role. Consider these statistics:

  • In 2016, there were 2,278 drug-related overdose deaths, a 44.3% increase over 1,579 deaths in 2015.6
  • In 2021, there were 3,013 opioid overdose fatalities, a 2.3% increase from 2020.7

The alarming rise in drug overdose deaths underscores the urgent need for comprehensive addiction prevention and treatment services.

The statistics presented in this article paint a grim picture of the drug and alcohol addiction landscape in Illinois. From the devastating impact of the opioid crisis and the high rates of youth substance use to the concerning levels of alcohol-related outcomes, it is clear that the state faces significant challenges in addressing this crisis. However, by prioritizing prevention, expanding access to quality treatment, and supporting long-term recovery, Illinois can work towards a healthier, more resilient future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 17, 2024
7 sources cited
Updated on May 17, 2024
  1. "Opioid Data Dashboard." Illinois Department of Public Health, accessed 2023.
  2. "Cook County Medical Examiner's Office confirms record 2,000 opioid overdose deaths in Cook County." Cook County Government, 2023.
  3. "Youth Alcohol Use: National and Illinois Trends, Consequences, and Interventions." Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, accessed 2023.
  4. "National and Illinois Youth Substance Use: Risk Factors, Prevalence, and Treatment." Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, accessed 2023.
  5. "Alcohol Epidemiology in Chicago - 2019." Chicago Department of Public Health, 2019.
  6. "Drug Overdose Deaths in Illinois, by Sex, Age Group, Race/Ethnicity and County, 2013-2016." Illinois Department of Human Services, accessed 2023.
  7. "Semiannual Opioid Report - May 2022." Illinois Department of Public Health, 2022.

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