Research shows it’s easy for teens to abuse prescription drugs because they’re easy to find.

All they have to do is look in the medicine cabinet. 

Today hundreds of Amarillo citizens cleaned out their drawers and cabinets, getting rid of old, unwanted and unused meds. 

Officials say in the wake of a national opioid crisis, events like Amarillo’s Medication Clean-Out are so important. 

They came in by the droves bearing gifts.

That’s because there are drug deals happening on this campus but it’s perfectly legal.

“the national opioid epidemic and all of the publicity surrounding it has made people a lot more aware of what’s occurring. So I think families are starting to become more cautious,” said Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, Managing Director of Texas Panhandle Poison Center.

Drivers drop-off meds they no longer need and these Texas Tech Pharmacy students along with the Texas Panhandle Poison Center properly dispose of them. 

“Today is National DEA Prescription Take-Back-Day, most of the medications we’ll collect today will go to the DEA for destruction,” said Jaramillo-Stametz.

She says more than 400 cars came through their drive-through on Saturday, turning over their opioids, pain meds, narcotics and more.

“I was always exposed to a whole bunch of medicine at home. Like it was all around me. My parents made sure to let me know that there’s medicine at home that you should not be taking because it’s not good for you. I was young at the time. And I feel like a lot of people now they don’t get that kind of warning,” said Steven Philip, First-year Texas Tech Pharmacist Student.

As a future pharmacist, Philip said events like these help him in knowing when to stop prescribing to patients.

He said some drivers came through with 18 boxes of medication they never used.

Old and unused medications were not the only items being disposed of. 

Drivers also brought needles and other sharp items.

Philips said he noticed many people don’t know how to take care of those items because they brought them with milk jugs and plastic boxes, which he said it’s not as safe because the needles can still poke through.

The medication clean-outs started in 2009.

And we are told since then, more than 38,000 pounds of medicine have been collected.