The world over, millions are in excruciating pain from cancer and other diseases without access to opioids like morphine for pain relief.
Now see the other side of the story. In 2015, 52,000 people died of overdose, mostly from opioids. See the article in the Daily Intelligencer published from New York. According to this, this factor alone reduced life expectancy in the United States.
It is cruel to withhold opioids from people in agonising pain, including even to some with chronic non-cancer pain. It is equally cruel to treat all people with chronic non-cancer pain with opioids as a first line measure.
The principle of balance is the key.