More than 450,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses in less than a decade. Though the synthetic and powerful opioid fentanyl now is the leading cause of opioid overdose deaths, the epidemic had its roots in prescription opioid addiction.

That, in turn, had its roots in a marketing strategy for prescription opioids that falsely claimed that the drugs were not addictive, and encouraging doctors to consider pain to be as important a condition as the underlying cause.

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