From a citywide perspective, SNP witnessed an explosion in the supply of heroin and prescription narcotics on the black market in all five boroughs beginning in 2009. SNP seeks to reduce the illegal supply of narcotics through the prosecution of high-level traffickers, whether they are members of international cartels, violent gangs or rogue medical professionals. Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan established two specialized units, the Prescription Drug Investigation Unit (PDIU) and the Heroin Interdiction Team (HIT), which have emerged as leaders in their related areas of focus and offer support to agencies across the state. SNP was also a pioneer in offering treatment as an alternative to incarceration to addicted offenders more than 25 years ago. In recognition of the urgent health crisis that is inextricably linked to today’s law enforcement challenges, Ms. Bridget G. Brennan has sought to develop new partnerships and to craft innovative approaches to reducing the demand for narcotics.

Students at SIPA, through the Capstone project, will be asked to conduct an independent analysis of the scope of current substance abuse prevention and treatment services available in the Bronx. In order to perform this evaluation, the Capstone team will be required to examine the needs of populations across all age groups (adolescents, adults, seniors), as well as the particular treatment modalities required. A goal of the project is to identify any gaps in available services, as well as barriers to access, such as limitations imposed by insurance companies.