Jimmy Sullivan prepared for his job as a bricklayer the same way every morning for years: injecting a shot of heroin before leaving his car.
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A lifesaving opioid overdose antidote used effectively for substance abuse - Naloxone Hydrochloride - has skyrocketed in the past couple years, worrying state health advocates across the U.S. with Oregon among them.
The Health Evidence Review Commission has revised its guidelines for weaning patients off the long-term use of narcotics to treat back pain on the Oregon Health Plan, delaying the stop-date by a year but requiring a more comprehensive treatment plan for pain management without the use of opiates.
The state of Oregon is trying to reduce the amount of opioids doctors prescribe to help cut down on the state's high rate of addiction and overdose. But some chronic pain patients say they're having trouble getting the medication they need just to get on with daily life.