ABC 20 Streaming LiveSpotlight 20Pump PatrolRaw NewsFriday Night HangtimePay It Forward


WEDNESDAY: Mostly Sunny and mild with gusty winds. High: 45. Winds: Southeast 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with spotty showers possible after Midnight. Low: 39. Winds: South ...

more »

Advertise with us!

Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Heroin Use Rising in Rural Areas

Authorities say heroin use is on the rise in our state, with a noticeable spike in rural areas. Thursday, local law enforcement met to discuss and tackle this very issue.

"What we do is we assign agents or police officers to these task forces to concentrate their efforts on this type of trafficking," Jacksonville Police Chief Anthony Grootens said.

The focus is on methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

“So you're seeing it more in the bigger cities, but it does have a trickle-down effect, such as Jacksonville," Grootens said.                  

That is where police arrested 36-year-old Michael Smith in January for a pound of crack cocaine and three ounces of heroin.

“That amount of heroin for a community of that size is telling a story," Grootens said. "It's telling a story that there are users in that vicinity that will use heroin." 

But why? Police say there are several reasons. For one, addicts used to turn to morphine derivatives like oxycodone to get their fix. But times are changing.

"Now the Mexican cartels, the smuggling groups, are smuggling heroin, Mexican heroin, into the country," Grootens said.

Now, authorities say, there is a market for it. As doctors and police crack down on prescription drug abuse, addicts go straight for the hard stuff.

“I've talked to people that are addicted to prescription drugs and since they--if they can't get their prescription drugs they are going to go and get the heroin," Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said.                  

Kettelkamp said addicts and dealers seem to think they are less likely to get caught if they are doing their deed out in the country.

“They better not think that way because we will be on them," Kettelkamp said. "We have three people dedicated full-time in Christian County to investigate the sales of drugs."

And Christian County State's Attorney Mike Havera is right behind him.

“The communication with law enforcement has been tremendous," Havera said. "We've already had county-wide meetings with each agency together."                  

There are no recent busts, but Kettlekamp says it is only a matter of time.

“I know that it's out there," Kettelkamp said. "I've had people tell me that it's out there."   

“Obviously if you play the game and get caught, we're going to punish you to the fullest extent of the law," Havera said.

Another issue is the continued popularity of meth. Authorities say many drug users mix and match, and heroin is a drug of choice to pair with meth.

Police say you can help them crack down on this issue. One way is to look out for a large number of cars coming and going from a particular home in a short period of time.  

  • WICS :: News - Traffic


    Get up to the minute traffic reports from WICS NewsChannel 20!
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin News

    Road Trippin News

    Missed a Road Trippin segment that aired in the news? Check it out here!
  • WICS :: News - Health Matters

    Health Matters

    Featuring news segment videos about health.
  • WICS :: News - In The Kitchen

    In The Kitchen

    Watch the area's best chefs whip up their tastiest creations. See them in action and get their recipes to try at home. 
  • WICS :: News - Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines

    Get Behind the Headlines commentary with Mark Hyman.
  • WICS :: News - Ready, Set, Shred

    Ready, Set, Shred

    In an exclusive eight-week investigation, ABC Newschannel 20 digs deep into the Springfield police document shredding scandal.
  • WICS :: News - Pay it Forward

    Pay it Forward

    Pay It Forward... because sometimes people need a little extra help.
  • WICS :: News - Ask the Expert

    Ask the Expert

    Do you need expert advice? Here's your chance to ask our experts!
  • WICS :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us! Check out all the great attractions in your area!
  • WICS :: News - Pump Patrol

    Pump Patrol

    Check out the ABC Newschannel 20's Pump Patrol to find the lowest prices, report low prices and get gas saving tips.

  • WICS :: News - Spotlight 20

    Spotlight 20

    Local organizations and community leaders tell us about events in central Illinois.
  • WICS :: News - Raw News

    Raw News

    Watch extra news footage, full interviews, and extended stories that didn't make it on air.  "Raw News" may include content that is not suitable for children and is intended for mature audiences only.
  • WICS :: News - On the Farm

    On the Farm

    Whether it's topical segments on what's happening on local farms to commodity prices, we have the world of central Illinois agriculture covered.
  • WICS :: News - Fugitive Files

    Fugitive Files

  • WICS :: News - Home Room

    Home Room

    When's the next school board meeting? Where's the basketball game? What's for lunch today? Do we have a snow day tomorrow? We have all the information you need for a successful school year--no pencil or ...
  • WICS :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Texting while driving kills thousands of people each year. Many more are seriously injured.  Keep central Illinois roads safe by taking the "No Text Zone" pledge.
  • WICS :: News - Business News

    Business News

    Stay up-to-date on the biggest business stories from around the nation.
  • WICS :: News - Pet of the Week

    Pet of the Week

    The cutest video you'll see anywhere! You won't be able to resist these adorable friends who need someone to love them.
  • WICS :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
  • WICS :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.
  • WICS :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.

more »

Tonight on WICS

The Middle
Mike and Frankie search for second jobs in order to send Sue to a good college.

The Goldbergs
Prince Charles and Lady Di's impending nuptials inspire Beverly to plan a vow renewal.

Modern Family
Phil and Claire panic when an obnoxious couple looks at the house for sale next door.

Dre tries to help Andre Jr. expand his social circle; Rainbow tries to inspire Diane.

Dre encourages the family to have each other's backs; Zoey and Andre Jr. must baby-sit the twins.

Modern Family
Cameron wants to maintain his team's winning streak but fears Mitchell is a jinx.

Newschannel 20 at 10

Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Celebrity guests and comedy skits.


Complete Schedule »

WICS Pay It Forward
Buzzed Driving Prevention PSA
WICS Cheers For The Years
Jimmy Kimmel
WICS Storm Team