Governor Bill Haslam was at the Anderson County Courthouse on Friday to sign the Tennessee Prescription Safety Act into law.
Haslam believes the law will be the beginning of the end of doctor shopping - a practice of going from doctor to doctor to feed a pill habit.
The bill, among other things, requires doctors and pharmacies to register patients they prescribe or dispense controlled substances to in the Controlled Substance Database.
All doctors must also check the database for a patient's controlled substance history before prescribing some medications.
"The abuse of prescription drugs has really reached overwhelming proportions and this law will do something about it. I want to thank the legislature for passing such a meaningful piece of work that I think will begin to make a difference in what I think is a real problem in East Tennessee and Tennessee as a whole," said Governor Haslam.
Governor Haslam signed the bill in East Tennessee because prescription drug abuse is reported at a higher rate here than in other parts of the state.
The new law is already recieving praise from law enforcement and the medical community.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy applauded the legislation. He said his department welcomes any assistance they can get to help fight prescription abuse.
Asst. Professor at UT Graduate School of Medicine, Dr. Anthony Wilson, believes it will help to curb doctor shopping-- something he sees at his clinic.
"It's great that our state is taking a step to try to get a hold of the problem as quickly as we can. It's not going to solve everything, but it's going to help a lot," said Dr. Wilson.
He already uses the Controlled Substance Database on a regular basis. He said it has been a big help to him.
Neith Sheriff Guy nor Dr. Wilson know if the database will make a dent in the problem, but both believe it is a step in the right direction.