The US Department of Health and Human Services says the following:
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to Opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
Increased prescription of Opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription Opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
In 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency.
For More Information:
SAMHSA, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, www.SAMHSA.gov
HHS, Health and Human Services, www.HHS.gov
NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, www.drugabuse.gov