The opioid epidemic is a two-fold problem that includes illicitly-acquired fentanyl and legally-prescribed oxycontin.
On one hand, the pharmaceutical industry is completely corrupt. There are private interests making healthcare decisions. There are lobbyists and creative salesmen making sure pharmacies and doctors continue stocking and prescribing addictive medications.
On the other, you have the cartels, as well as ethically questionable Chinese laboratories run amok. Underground labs produce fentanyl that’s cut with coke, meth, dope, and every marketable street drug you can imagine. It’s a scene right out of Breaking Bad.
Under those auspices it seems that no matter what we do, we’re on a disturbing trajectory.