A Cincinnati Enquirer report looks at pain and the strong prescription drugs used to treat it.

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CINCINNATI -- Pain sends us to the doctor more than anything else. And, for about the last 15 years, Americans have often left their doctors' offices with prescriptions for powerful painkillers once reserved for only the worst injuries.

Bombarding pain with opioid medication was a dramatic shift in U.S. medicine, pushed by a profitable drug industry that leads the education of doctors who otherwise get little training to treat their patients' top complaint.

The result has been a public health disaster. We know now that the pills flooding this country more than any other in the world leave millions in pain. They fuel our worst-ever heroin crisis. And they kill 17,000 Americans a year -- in Ohio, opioids kill three people a day, more than who die in traffic accidents.

Cincinnati Enquirer reporters Lisa Bernard-Kuhn and Mark Curnutte spent months examining years of research and investigations and interviewing dozens of doctors and patients.

They will share the personal experiences of patients and the dilemmas facing doctors, along with word of a Senate investigation of drug companies and efforts by lawmakers and regulators to stem the deadly tide.

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