State lawmakers introduce bill to dispense opioids in lockable bottles


State Sen. Richard Briggs and State Rep. Matthew Hill announced legislation Monday that would require certain prescription drugs, such as opioids, stimulants and benzodiazepines, to be dispensed in lockable containers.

The “Pilfering Prevention Act” refers to the act of “pilfering,” or stealing a few pills at a time. At a news conference Monday, the two lawmakers, along with a statewide coalition called “STOP – Secure Tennessee’s Opioid Prescriptions,” explained that pilfering is the number one source of teenage drug abuse nationally and Tennessee. They said statistics show 80 percent of heroin users started with a prescription opioid, and 90 percent of them started as teenagers.

“Too often well-meaning Tennesseans are completely unaware of the highly addictive, and potentially lethal, prescriptions drugs sitting in the family medicine cabinet,” said Sen. Briggs. “This is where drug addiction starts, and often where accidental overdoses occur. These drugs are being manufactured and prescribed in record numbers, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that drug-related deaths are at an all-time high in Tennessee. We must explore every tool to combat this epidemic, and my bill is a practical and important step in the right direction.”

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