New York City is experiencing an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. According to Bridget Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, more than 1 million oxycodone prescriptions were filled in 2010 in the city’s five boroughs. This equals to one prescription for every eight people in the city.
“The public flat out needs to be better informed about how widespread the problem is and how dangerously addictive these substances are,” Brennan said. “It’s pure opium. And that’s an addictive drug. It’s nothing to be played with.”
In 2007, six percent of the special narcotics prosecutor’s caseload was arrests related to prescription drugs. In 2010, the percentage more than doubled to almost 15 percent of the special prosecutor’s caseload.