Methamphetamine Production in the Heartland

Ralph A. Weisheit, Illinois State University
Jason Fuller, Illinois State University

Although it has been a problem in the West for some time, the manufacture of methamphetamine in the Midwest has surged in recent years. This study examines patterns and correlates of methamphetamine production in one Midwestern state, Illinois. Illinois provides an excellent illustration of this phenomenon. The number of laboratories seized in Illinois rose from 24 in 1997 to 666 in 2001. In the Midwest most methamphetamine laboratories are found in rural and suburban areas, and this is true for Illinois as well. Cook County (Chicago) and the five counties adjacent to it account for over 65 percent of the states population, but in 2001 only 1 of the 666 seized laboratories was located in these highly urbanized counties. The paper describes the problem in Illinois and considers social and economic correlates of methamphetamine production.

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Updated 05/20/2006