(Abstracted from Cancer 2018;124:4279–4286)
Over the last 20 years, there has been a staggering increase in addiction to opiates and the number of deaths from opioids in the United States. The initial trigger for the epidemic was a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 (N Engl J Med 1980;302:123), which reported that fewer than 1% of 11,000 patients who received opioids in a hospital setting became addicted.
Leukemia Department (G.H.J., H.M.K.), Palliative Care Medicine Department (E.B.), and Pain Medicine Department (S.A.), The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX