I've known and heard of many people in my area who abuse prescription medications, mainly opiates (more recently especially). While there is often an enormous stigma associated with illicit opiates and even less severe addictive substances, it seems like prescription drug abuse is the elephant in the room. It's also very often leads to harder (or perhaps simply less legal) addiction, when supplies are short or prescriptions are cut off. On the other hand, it seems all too easy for certain people to acquire prescriptions to support their addictions. This seems to allow for "legitimized" addictions, for lack of a better term, with doctor support, which facilitate denial in addicts. Why does this type of addiction so often fly under the radar? How are doctors so easily fooled or swayed to enable this type of addiction? Why does there seem to exist a hierarchy of drug abuse/addicts in which very potent prescription drugs evade the same judgments cast on other substances and users?