There is substantial evidence to support that this epidemic of opioid addiction in the US originated with the large pharmaceutical companies. Many of the current addicts got started with prescription pain medication after minor surgery.
Drug Industry Is Responsible for Mass Addiction
If you think opioid addiction is for "crack heads" and "low Life's" consider what is going on in the State of Utah, which is 60% Mormon where people don't drink alcohol coffee, tea or smoke.
Lisa Ling: Inside Utah's struggle with drug abuse - CNN.com
Mormons, Forbidden From Drugs, Plagued By Prescription Drug Addiction - The Takeaway - WNYC