Drug use among Chicago arrestees highest in U.S.

June 16, 2011

(Getty/Sean Gallup, File)

A new White House report puts Chicago inmates at the top of a national list for drug abuse. The report states that 83 percent of males arrested in Cook County last year tested positive for at least one substance. The Office of National Drug Control Policy analyzed 10 major cities for the study. Chicago ranked in the top spot.

Daphne Baille, spokeswoman for Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, said the results aren't surprising.

"This is a trend that has been going on for decades in Chicago," she said. "We know that the vast majority of people who are arrested indeed have illicit substances in their system, and this is a result of our 40 year war on drugs that has continued to criminalize this health problem, rather than treating it."

Chicago has placed above the other nine cities in the annual study for the past four years. The cities are Denver, Atlanta, Portland, Ore., Indianapolis, New York, Charlotte, N.C., Washington D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Minneapolis.

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