Today, lawmakers announced a new step in the fight against opioid addiction. Proposed legislation is aimed at stopping an addiction before it ever gets started.
Under the Pilfering Prevention Act -- prescription drugs, specifically opioids would come in a lockable pill bottle.
The goal is to stop teens from sneaking pills from the easiest place to find them... the medicine cabinet.
Betty Mason lost her teen daughter to opioid abuse in 2016. Since then, she's made it her mission to make it harder for teens to pilfer drugs.
“The path to addiction starts at home with prescription drugs,” said Mason. “We were sitting at the dining room table discussing the obituary and what we'd put in there. A friend of mine said what are you going to say about her death? I said, I'm going to tell it.”
“It's time we lowered this veil and talked about it.”
Mason was joined by two other mothers who lost sons to addiction, as lawmakers introduced the Pilfering Prevention Act.
“If you had the joy of meeting our kids, you'd know their infectious personalities. This disease did not define them in any way,” said Mason. “None of them woke up one day and decided that this is the day I'd start using heroin or other dangerous drugs that would one day take their lives.”
“There's no greater sorrow than losing a child,” she adds. “But we are empowered by our children to help others avoid this pain.”
Senator Richard Briggs calls it common sense legislation.
“The easiest way to fight addiction is to prevent it, and that's what this bill aims to do,” he said.
Each day, five Tennesseans die from a drug overdose.
Representative Matthew Hill knows these bottles aren't going to stop the hardcore addicts.
“There is no silver bullet. There is no magic wand. But, what this legislation does is offer another tool in the toolbox,” Hill explains.
For Mason, these bottles can mean hope.
“It gives parents the gift of time,” said Mason. “Time is priceless in this situation.”
The bill still needs to get out of committee before hitting the house and senate floor. Doctors believe this has enough merit to move forward, and eventually get signed into law by Governor Bill Lee.