According the American Academy of Neurology:
Most of the 35 million people addicted to opioid drugs live in America. Two groups of people comprise the largest quantity of addicts: infants and those in military service. One of the saddest statistics plaguing society lurks in the number of infants born with an addiction to opioids due to their mother’s drug use. Every 25 minutes a new infant comes into this world with an opioid drug withdrawal. The cost to care for the 20,000 opioid addicted infants amounts to fifty-thousand dollars per child. Opioid drug addiction remains one of the largest healthcare issues plaguing almost every industrialized society.
Over 16,000 people die annually from opioid use and millions suffer significant side effects from this class of drugs. No scientific evidence from clinical trials proves that opioids safely or effectively treat pain in patients without cancer. This means that that majority of prescribed opioids offer neither safe nor effective outcomes to those whom they prescribed. People end up addicted to opioids long before achieving any sort of health improvement.
American Academy of Neurology.
2014 Sep 30;83(14):1277-84
"Opioids for chronic noncancer pain: a position paper of the American Academy of Neurology.”
Franklin GM, American Academy of Neurology