“It’s a terrifying fact: More than 47,000 people in America died of drug overdoses in 2014 — in what’s been widely called an epidemic. But the biggest killer of this epidemic isn’t cocaine, meth, or even heroin; it’s totally legal opioid painkillers.
“Since the 1990s, doctors have been under more and more pressure to treat pain as a serious medical issue. Pharmaceutical companies took advantage of this desire, marketing opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin as a safe, effective solution to pain.
“The result: Millions of Americans got hooked on the drugs, and tens of thousands have died from overdoses. In 2014, nearly 19,000 died from overdoses linked to opioid painkillers.”