Some of the broad comments regarding physicians and opiods on this thread are ignorant at best and illustrate why there is an opioid epidemic. While there will always be physicians that prescribe inappropriately, most prescribe responsibly. While there will always be those patients that abuse opioids and cause themselves to become addicted, most do not.
The problem is with a culture that is not willing to accept pain. Everyday I have patients that believe they need a narcotic opioid in instances when they don't. The one notion that can't be denied is that Skaggs was an abuser if not an addict. As sad as his and many other situations are, you do ultimately have to accept responsibility for the things that you ingest.
I'm sorry Pedaldad but this is a gross oversimplification of the problem. I'm am sure that you prescribe responsibly, but over-prescription is indeed part of the problem. As is big pharma encouraging (perhaps incentivizing) doctors to prescribe, and the patients wanting the prescription. There is also a real problem with pill mills in this country. I know those are NOT responsible doctors, but they ARE doctors.
By the time a pain patient is an opioid addict, he or she isn't able to simply "accept responsibility" for what he or she is ingesting. It really isn't about personal responsibility at that point. This is especially true when what he or she is ingesting turns out to be from some sketchy factory in China.