Opium has been around for literally thousands of years, and there has always been problems with addiction to whatever form was given to a patient. Including a cough syrup developed in the 1800's called "heroin".
70 percent of opium goes to the production of heroin and production has doubled since 1985. Heroin claims the lives of 53,000 American's last year alone, and is expected to claim a half a million people in the next ten years. Patients with chronic pain have a higher risk of addiction.
Read more: How a brain gets hooked on opioids - PBS NewsHour