Over the last twenty years, the USA has been on a downward spiral with regard to opioid addiction.
In 2002, 5,000 people died from overdosing with prescription opioids such as extra strength Oxycontin – Pure Oxycodone ( a semi-synthetic opioid loosely related to morphine and originally based on elements of the opium poppy) and from others such as Percocet, Percodan which are usually oxycodone mixed with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Other opioid drugs include Fentanyl, Hydrocodone and codeine in various strengths and mixed with NSAIDs or paracetamol.
In 2015 these deaths caused by opioid overdose had increased to 52,000 per annum.
The UK has also seen an increase in addiction. However some of those who are afflicted go unreported, such as when associated with the very elderly. I have personal experience of this with the prescription of Tramadol in excessive doses, and also Oramorph which is a liquid opioid, to my mother in her late 80 and early 90s. And then with the safe withdrawal from those drugs over several months after taking issue with the prescription.