Effects of Drug Abuse on Our Community

Drug addiction is not simply an individual or family problem - it's a far-reaching problem that affects the entire community. The recent increase in activity by Mexican drug cartels has brought the problem especially close to home. Chicago is the Midwestern hub for the heroin trade and this has contributed to an alarming increase in drug use and addiction in the Western Suburbs. The negative effects of drug abuse on the community include increased health care costs, rising crime rates and lost employment. Ignite Hope's unique program of fitness and charitable giving strives to assist and shorten the road to recovery for participants, helping to improve their lives and the life of the community.

Impact on Addicts

Drug abuse is an expensive habit and many addicts turn to crime to support it. The most common offenses by drug abusers include theft, fraud, drug dealing and prostitution. As users devote more time to acquiring and finding money for drugs, their productivity at work or in school decreases. They may find themselves without employment or access to education and, ultimately, even "out on the streets" as friends and family give up on trying to help.

Health is another critical issue. Overdoses, heart disease, suicides and other major health concerns are not uncommon among users. Unwanted pregnancies are also an unfortunate outcome as female users may either fall victim to sexual assault or turn to the sex trade.

Ignite Hope's fitness programs support individuals who have taken the first step to recovery through rehab by helping them become stronger both physically and emotionally. As their minds and bodies grow healthier, their risk of relapse decreases.

Impact on the Community

Often it falls upon the community to try to tackle these issues. Law enforcement, social service agencies and emergency health facilities, all end up expending valuable financial and staff resources to overcome these problems and to safeguard the community. Drug dependency that results in criminal activity also adds a burden to the community with increased costs for the court system and incarceration.

Ignite Hope's volunteering opportunities help participants overcome the isolation and despair of being a drug addict. By working with other members of the community and learning the value of giving, they can appreciate the importance of contributing and gain a sense of confidence.

Benefits of Ignite Hope

There is no quick fix for drug addiction. Rehabilitation is a process that takes time and often several attempts before achieving lasting results. Ignite Hope supports recovering addicts during and immediately following their participation in a rehab program, providing them with additional tools to avoid addiction relapse. The sooner an individual can overcome addiction, the sooner they can transform from being a liability on the community to being a valuable member.

The Ignite Hope program requires minimal financial investment. For as little as $40 per month an individual can continue the process toward a healthier physical and mental lifestyle. Additionally, our Partner support requires only a modest investment of time, beginning with two hours per week in a fitness facility and one hour per month volunteering with a charity.

It truly does take just a small effort to create a huge transformation in someone's life.

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