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Hitting home: Oregon feels the pain of heroin/painkiller abuse | Health

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Hitting home: Oregon feels the pain of heroin/painkiller abuse

Nearly a year after she found her son’s body, Nancy Meyer still has nightmares.

Last May 18, C.J. Norwell overdosed inside his Madison condo on a combination of prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants. He was 30.

Norwell had lived in Oregon on and off between 1995 and 2010. During that time, Meyer said, her son struggled with mental illness. Worse, he had developed an addiction to painkillers. By his 20s, he would lie about being in car accidents to get doctors in different cities to prescribe him more. He grew so homebound and apathetic about life that a doctor’s appointment shortly before his death revealed arteries that were 80 percent blocked.

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