While it once was a major component of the steel industry, northwestern Indiana has slowly deteriorated as businesses abandoned the area for international opportunities. A series of abandoned cities allowed for an increase in gang activity and heightened crime rates, while the closeness of Chicago has led to higher rates of drug trafficking throughout the area. The state has several treatment options established, but its addiction rates and drug availability are staggeringly high.

Popular Drugs

Indiana residents have developed addictions most commonly to alcohol and marijuana, but the prevalence of other substances has led to a diversity of addictions. Heroin and cocaine are popular drugs throughout the state, and abuse of prescription drugs has risen drastically in the last five years.

Alcohol Addiction And Failure To Seek Treatment

The most common substance for addiction in Indiana is alcohol, with 9,000 Indiana residents seeking alcoholism treatment in 2008, and over half of those seeking treatment for at least one other substance as well. This is almost twice the number of the next most popular substance spurring addiction treatment—marijuana, with 4,700 admissions.

However, the numbers of struggling addicts in the state dwarfs this figure because many people do not know how to seek treatment, or are not willing. It was estimated in 2007 that over 100,000 state residents who required some form of drug addiction recovery plan were not able to receive one. It was also estimated that 350,000 people who needed help with an alcohol abuse problem failed to get that treatment.

Decline In Business

Gary, Indiana, a large city in the northern part of the state, used to be a prolific central hub for the steel industry and many associated businesses. From the early to mid-1900s, Gary prospered with numerous highly productive steel manufacturing companies, but international competition eventually caused the business structures to collapse. Over 20,000 layoffs in Gary alone created a vacuum of joblessness and general despair.

The lack of sustainable jobs, productive industries, and adequate law enforcement protection has led the half-abandoned city to become a major stopping point in many drug trafficking routes. Fairly close to the Chicago metropolitan area (one of the largest distribution areas in the world), Gary and other major cities in northwestern Indiana have become popular distribution areas in their own rights. Many gangs have moved into the city, worsening the city's condition even further and creating more addicts every day.

Rehabilitation Centers

Indiana does not have the kind of infrastructural rehabilitation support that other surrounding states do, but there are several options for addicts who seek recovery. There are nearly 290 treatment facilities throughout the state of Indiana, many of which are concentrated in the heavily trafficked and populated area of the northwest.