Imagine for a moment you fall. You throw your hand out to catch yourself, and you break your arm. You go to the doctor, you get it casted, and you go on your way. Ideally, that's how it would work. However, a lot of times, it's kind of hard to tell that you have a broken bone just from looking at an appendage. It isn't always swollen. It isn't always bruised. But it can be very broken on the inside. So again, you fall, you throw your hand out to catch yourself, and something hurts. You go to the doctor. The doctor doesn't see anything out of the ordinary and there are a lot of things he has to do, so rather than get you x-rayed, he gives you some Vicodin and tells you to be on your way.
Immediately you know there is a problem, but you can't really do anything about it if your doctor won't order the x-ray, so you go home, you take your Vicodin, and you can live and function, even if it is only a temporary state produced by the Vicodin.
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Religion is a creation necessary (still) to function in the world. Does everyone need Morphine to live, to exist without pain? No. But it is an irrefutable truth that, currently, many people do need Morphine to live. Our current crisis in addiction is fueled by the few, by the bad doctors who prescribe and don't diagnose, ignore the problems of the patient, and create someone dependent on medication for no good reason. By uninformed individuals looking for a literal escape from reality (sound familiar?). However, people exist, and are dependent on opiates, and it is because it is necessary and it is a good thing - in a sort of limbo, while we await the development of treatments that can wholly cure a person of whatever ails them - be that RA, maybe Fibromyalgia, or maybe Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
In short, the view that you have on opiates might not be a good one - but there is no denying that there is an appropriate use for them in this day and age. There is also no denying that we would be in an ideal world if we could abolish the need for these medications - which gives us a very clear insight to the quote by Marx,
Religion...is the opium of the people.