Our ability to manage pain through pharmaceuticals has progressed by leaps and bounds. The advent of powerful new drugs has helped thousands manage sometimes debilitating pain and regain productive function. But along with this increased capacity to treat pain has come undesired side effects including addiction, dependency, and a growing death toll. Let us be clear: addiction is not a disease of society's margins, of the criminally inclined or of the morally destitute. Addiction to prescription drugs is a public health issue that affects all kinds of people and requires multiple sectors and stakeholders to work together in addressing a chronic, relapsing condition, not bad behaviour.