Prescription medicine abuse is national epidemic, TTUHSC says, hosts Medication Cleanout to help combat problem

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Texas Tech health professionals report that getting rid of old medications is an important part of keeping your family safe. Old medicine is a potential poison risk for young kids as well as a potential experimental drug risk for teens. Texas Tech Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is doing its part to raise awareness as well as help out with local residents’ spring cleaning list.

TTHSC partnered with the Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC) today for the Medication Cleanout. The event was held at the TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, located at 1300 South Coulter.

TTUHSC officials encouraged residents from all over the Panhandle to bring their unused, expired or unnecessary medications in for proper disposal. Officials said the program also disposes of needles and sharps.

TPPC Managing Director Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, Pharm.D., who also is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, said prescription medication abuse is a national epidemic, and COVID-19 restrictions have only highlighted the problem with people staying home more.

“Many people, whether pre-teens, teens or adults are experiencing depression and sadness due the pandemic,” Jaramillo-Stametz said. “This could lead them to impulsively turn to the medicine cabinet for relief or as a suicidal gesture, so by taking just a few minutes to clean out your medication, you could be saving a life because poisoning, which includes medication overdose is the third most common means of suicide today in the U.S.”

For more information about the Medication Cleanout, call (806) 414-9495 or visit www.MedicationCleanout.com.


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