About Southern Illinois: The Area in Review, in Summary, and Examined
Southern Illinois, (also known by the locals as “Little Egypt” or even just “Egypt”), is the southern third of the U.S. state of Illinois. With the iconic 618 area code, the southern part of Illinois is geographically, culturally, and economically very, very distinct from the rest of the state in many, many ways. It is considered a part of downstate Illinois, but the area is a lot more like the American south than the typical northern culture in the northern section of the state. The region is bordered on three of four sides by the most voluminous rivers in the United States: the Wabash and Ohio rivers to the east and south, and the Mississippi River and its connecting Missouri River to the west.
Southern Illinois’ most populated city is currently Belleville at 44,478 residents all in all, and one could not find a city that more epitomized the American south than Belleville. Other principal cities include Alton, Centralia, Collinsville, Edwardsville, O’Fallon, Harrisburg, Mt. Vernon, Marion, and Carbondale, where the main campus of Southern Illinois University is located and operates out of. The same college also has a campus at Edwardsville. Residents travel to amenities in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; and Paducah, Kentucky. The region is also home to a major military installation, Scott Air Force Base as well, and many of the youth of Southern Illinois join up there.
The area known as Southern Illinois has a population of 1.2 million people who live mostly in rural towns and cities separated by extensive farmland and the Shawnee National Forest too. All in all, Southern Illinois is very rural, very agricultural, very expansive and open, and very Southern area. It is not at all like the more urban North where Chicago is. If one were to travel from Chicago to Southern Illinois, one would likely think that one was in a completely different state all together.
As for its extensive and expansive history, the first settlers who migrated to Southern Illinois came from the Upland South, traveling by the Ohio River, and the region very soon after that became affiliated with the southern agricultural economy and rural culture that surrounded it in different states and geographic areas.
In Southern Illinois, some settlers even owned slaves before the territory was organized and it was prohibited to do so. Many areas developed an economy based on coal mining, whereas others developed their economy based on farming or logging. Except for the counties in the St. Louis MSA, much of Southern Illinois is still culturally affiliated with the Mid-South, (that is to say western Kentucky, southwestern Indiana, West Tennessee, and the Missouri Bootheel). A lot of these affiliations are made merely because the people in all of these areas speak with similar accents.
All in all, Southern Illinois, the earliest settled and once the by far wealthiest part of Illinois, is known for its rich history and the abundance of antebellum architecture remaining in its small towns and cities that many tourists from Northern Illinois travel down south just to adore in person. Southern Illinois is slowly gaining a cultural identity apart from its neighbors too. Formerly dispersed rural populations have become more concentrated in the cities of Carbondale and Belleville as well.
Drug Abuse and Addiction on the Rise in Southern Illinois
Sadly, as drug abuse has begun to make a big impact in Northern Illinois and particularly the Chicago area, so has it begun to filter down to Southern Illinois and begin to create grim effects in this area too. Chicago is now the heroin capital of the country, and heroin has been trafficked down to Southern Illinois and is currently being abused there more so now than it ever has been before for that matter. Something must be down about this soon as that whole geographic region of the state is on the verge of suffering a substance abuse epidemic.
For a long time now the United States has been experiencing an increase in substance abuse amongst its residents. In fact, the turn of the century brought with it a drug addiction and alcohol abuse epidemic the likes of which the nation had never ever seen before. The truth of the matter is that multiple different factors combined to make the United States and certain key places within it, like Southern Illinois, a perfect target for drug trafficking. Luckily, for Southern Illinois, resolving the situation is as easy as enacting widespread rehabilitation efforts.
Facts and Statistics on Increases in Substance Abuse All Across the Nation
Substance abuse is without a doubt one of the most concerning issues of the 21st century. In truth, the United States is actually facing its worst ever substance abuse crisis in the history of the nation and fast action needs to be taken to rectify this. Listed below are just a few facts and statistics recorded here so as to provide the reader with context as to just how severe of an issue that this really is:
- Statistics show that addiction is expensive. In truth, addiction wreck untold havoc and upset and opiate abuse and opiate addiction cost Americans over $484 billion annually in fact. This amount includes the overall healthcare costs and abuses of the healthcare system too, the lost wages, the car accidents, the crime, and the criminal justice system costs too.
- Various reports indicate to the general American populace that nearly two-thirds of people in a very key and specific opiate abuse treatment report were physically or sexually abused as children. All in all, it would seem that there are a lot more factors going on with opiate abuse, making it something that requires a very intricate handling.
- Sadly, it always seems that there are far more Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol than there are Americans who are getting rehabilitated for their addictions. In fact, in the United States today more Americans become addicted to drugs and alcohol every year than get rehabilitated from drugs and alcohol. In truth, only an estimated 281,000 persons received treatment for heroin abuse last year, but over three-hundred thousand Americans tried the drug for the first time.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), also reports for all to see the characteristics of admissions and discharges from substance abuse treatment facilities for addiction in its Treatment Episode Data Set, (TEDS). According to these such “TEDS”, there were 1.8 million admissions in the year 2008 for treatment of alcohol and drug abuse to facilities that report to State administrative data systems. That’s almost two million Americans who are going to rehab for addiction every single year. This seems like a lot, until one realizes that there are over twenty-five million Americans are addicted to drugs in the United States today and roughly two to three million become addicted to drugs every single year.
Rehabilitation: How Those Addicted in Southern Illinois can Beat their Addiction for Good
The journey to a much more healthy, sober, drug and alcohol free life is not a quick and easy one by any means at all; but it can be started at the drug rehab Illinois. In fact, it is a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work that for some takes years to achieve fully. However, the actual, real life rewards gained from taking such a journey and transforming a life of addiction into a life of recovery, however, are immeasurable and well worth the effort by far. Beating addiction is no walking the park though. Like any journey, the road to sobriety begins with simple steps forward and is thusly accomplished, one step at a time and at the drug rehabilitation Illinois, they are aware of how dedicated the individual must be in order to get back to a sober life.
The various, specific steps, (yes there are many steps), of one’s addiction rehabilitation process will vary quite a bit, all according to the type of addiction that one has, the treatment plan that he or she has used, and the individual himself or herself seeking out the rehab. However, all recovery processes when broken down do tend to share certain key elements.
The first process that one takes in getting rehabilitated is the intake process. This is pretty straightforward. All one has to do is show up, do some paperwork and get a tour of the facility and a doctor’s visit, and one can start right away.
Detoxification is the next step. This is huge. This step is what allows an addict to gain freedom and recovery from chemical dependence. In the United States today roughly some eighty percent of drugs that are being abused in the nation create chemical dependencies of their own, and all alcohol creates chemical dependence. With detox though, one can rapidly and efficiently get cleaned up, dried out, and weaned down from whatever drug or alcohol that he or she was chemically dependent upon.
Signing up at the drug rehab in Southern Illinois is the step that will actually change the person’s life. Mental addiction itself goes along with every single addiction in the nation, and is the stronger of the two addictions by far. It is mental addiction that is thusly the hardest one to beat. Thankfully, this is what rehabilitation is for. With a wide plethora of counseling, therapy, one on one sessions, group therapy, and other modalities, addiction can finally be beat once and for all.