Today, we don’t think twice when we hear of a friend or neighbor taking prescription pain medication for a bad back, or for any number of conditions or injuries. Trademarked words like Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin are as much a part of the layperson’s medical vocabulary as Tylenol and aspirin were for our parents. And our perception is borne out by the facts: Opioids have become the most widely prescribed class of drug in the U.S.
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