"Insurers have also grown to see [pain] pills as a cheaper way to treat chronic pain than other methods."
"There is increasing evidence, however, that such drugs, along with being widely abused, are often ineffective in treating long-term pain and can have serious consequences."
"The economic costs associated with the painkiller boom have also proved enormous, giving rise to a host of unanticipated medical, legal and social costs."
"[Prescriptions for pain medication] have increased nearly fourfold over the past decade."
"In the short run, treating a patient with an opioid like OxyContin, costs about $6,000 a year."