Methamphetamine is second to none in Coles County
When it comes to the war on drugs, it's easy to see heroin as second to none. But, that’s not always the case.
Sergeant Matt McCormick is the operations supervisor with East Central Illinois Drug Task Force.
Sergeant McCormick said when it comes to methamphetamine in Coles County, it’s one arrest after another.
“Meth is very addictive and very strong,” Sergeant McCormick said. “It really sinks its claws into people.”
The epidemic is nothing new in a place that once had a reputation for manufacturing the drug.
He said what is new is “ice".
“With that ice, a lot more meth [and] a lot more meth in the area,” Sergeant McCormick said
Ice is a new, crystallized form of meth that is easier and cheaper to get.
The East Central Illinois Drug Task Force goes after ice suppliers.
"We try and target the people that are destroying the community,” Sergeant McCormick said. “The people that are bringing in the large amounts of ice and making it available to the people who need the help.”
While the drug task force continues to chip away at the supply, it's the court system that works to tackle the demand.
“I think it's fair to say the biggest problem in Coles County is still meth,” Coles County Circuit Court Judge Brien O’Brien said.
Judge O’Brien oversees Coles County Drug Court.
“The number of people in our community who have a drug problem, it’s extremely eye-opening to me, and I have to admit disturbing,” Judge O’Brien said.
For Judge O’Brien locking people up isn’t a solution.
“I wish that I had the answers to stop it, I think one of the answers is drug court,” Judge O’Brien said.
Drug court is a long-term rehabilitation program that works to get drug offenders into recovery.