The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed reducing the manufacturing of prescription opioids for the fourth year in a row, but chronic pain patients are begging the agency to reconsider.

The proposal aims to reduce the amount of fentanyl production by 31 percent, hydrocodone by 19 percent, hydromorphone by 25 percent, oxycodone by 9 percent and oxymorphone by 55 percent, according to the DEA. Altogether, the cuts would constitute a 53 percent decrease in legal opioid production since 2016.

The DEA has been criticized  for allowing drug makers to ramp up opioid production between 2003 and 2013, leading to a sharp increase in overdose deaths. More than 140,000 people died from overdoses in that period, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. In an attempt to change course, the DEA has proposed cutting opioid manufacturing. Victims of chronic pain, however, claim the agency is taking away the medication they need to live productive lives.

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