Yep. I really wonder how many of the accidental deaths are due to acetaminophen and not the opiod itself. You have to take a lot of opioid pain meds to OD, but a little extra tylenol and you're a dead duck. I also wonder how many of the accidental deaths are due to drug cocktails and not solely due to opioids (many CNS depressants can combine with opioids to basically suffocate the user).
And I'd like to add that its not easy most places to get opioids for pain, ESPECIALLY for women. For some reason many doctors treat women's pain as bullshit while respecting men's pain. The more things change...
There are certainly many black market sources, and cracking down on legit doctors providing legit care to patients in serious need is no way to fight "the drug war". The vast majority of opioid addicts get their pills from the black market anyway (generally its only the very wealthy that have access to "Dr Feelgood" type doctors), so cracking down on doctors is a really stupid way to reduce deaths.
Millions of Americans take these drugs everyday, so the idea that few of those are dying, some of them intentionally, is some kind of scourge and represents an irresponsible drug industry just doesn't add up. I'm the first to rail against big pharma, but the fact is that most opioids sold in the US are sold as generics anyway, and opioids for most people are the only thing that works for severe pain. Big pharma doesn't have to push this stuff, it sells itself.
I know that some communities, notably those that are severely poor in places like West Virginia, have epidemics of pain pill abuse going on. But again, the cure for this type of self-medication is economic development, not cracking down with law enforcement. People living in extreme poverty with no hope of a better life turn to substances for relief. Wouldn't you? Its long past time for the fainting nancys to offer real suggestions for the problem of poverty and addiction. Law enforcement just compounds the problems of people in these circumstances.