Over the past three years, the number of prescriptions for oxycodone in New York City has doubled. The city's special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget Brennan, testified that last year more than 1 million prescriptions for oxycodone -- the generic name for OxyContin -- were filled in the five boroughs. That means one in every eight people per capita, or roughly 13 percent of the population, has access to synthetic, temporary, highly addictive happiness in pill form. Perhaps misunderstanding how the words pure opium can motivate some people, Brennan told the City Council's Public Safety Committee:
"The public flat out needs to be better informed about how widespread the problem is and how dangerously addictive these substances are. It's pure opium. And that's an addictive drug. It's nothing to be played with."