AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC), managed by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy will host a Spring Medication Cleanout™ on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the School of Pharmacy located on 1300 South Coulter.
TPPC Managing Director and TTUHSC assistant professor Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, Pharm.D. is encouraging people to bring “unused, expired or unnecessary medications for proper disposal”. The event also allows the disposal services for syringes and sharps.
Texas Tech said this is TPPC’s 72nd Medication Cleanout™ since its begin in 2009. According to them, about “63,000 pounds of medications and sharps have been collected for proper disposal” since then.
Jaramillo-Stametz explained this is important because old medication can become sources of poisoning to children or be accessed by teens experimenting with drugs. They can also pose a hazard to adults and elderly that could choose the wrong bottle or take medications longer than required, according to her.
“Medication Cleanout™ is a proactive approach to safeguard our communities by providing a free and convenient way for people to dispose of these medications in a legal, environmentally sound and convenient manner,” Jaramillo-Stametz added.
According to Jaramillo- Stametz, prescription medications abuse continues to be a national epidemic. “Now is the time to clean out your medicine cabinets and remove these items from your homes to reduce the risk of poisoning by medications,” Jaramillo-Stametz stressed.
“In addition, many people, whether pre-teens, teens or adults are experiencing depression and sadness due the pandemic. 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.”
TTUHSC said Medication Cleanout™ is a drive-thru event, so those attending can drop-off medications without leaving their cars. They also asked for medications to be left in their original containers.
Jaramillo-Stametz said masks are encouraged, but not required. Due to environmental restrictions, TTUHSC informed it will only accept medication from households. You can call 806 414 9495 for more information, or visit the Medication Cleanout™ website.