Health, Cities New York, New York City
March 14th, 2024 Podcast by Manhattan Insights

Inside the New York City Drug Crisis | Bridget Brennan, NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor

New York has long been at the forefront of the drug crisis. In 2022, over 3,000 city residents died of a drug overdose, the highest number on record. The proliferation of inexpensive yet lethal drugs, such as fentanyl and methamphetamine, poses an escalating challenge to New York City. However, there is hope to tackle these issues through collaboration and partnerships within the city’s criminal justice system and district attorneys.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York Bridget Brennan has been confronting the drug epidemic since she took the position in 1998. She has addressed drug offenses across all five boroughs and has seen the changing nature of drug challenges in the city, from crack cocaine to prescription pills to fentanyl. In this episode, Bridget discusses the impact of potent synthetic opioids, and the strategies of drug prosecution, including targeting high-level distributors and addressing drug markets in specific areas.

Bridget G. Brennan was appointed as New York City’s Special Narcotics in 1998 and is the first woman to hold the position. She oversees a staff of approximately 200 legal and support personnel. The agency has its own budget for operating expenses and receives funding from the city, state, and federal government.

Related Reading:
The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor
After Decriminalization, City Journal online, by Charles Fain Lehman