Lubbock Dumps the Drugs

More than 300 pounds of medication were collected for safe disposal.

More than 300 pounds of medication were collected for safe disposal.

Cold and flu season are upon us and many will head to the pharmacy for new medications. Many people may not know what to do with expired medications. When old medications are left to collect dust inside the medicine cabinet, they can become potential sources of poisoning to young children or may be accessed by teens experimenting with drugs.

The School of Pharmacy's Texas Panhandle Poison Center hosted a Lubbock Medication Cleanout™ at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion.

Jeanie Jaramillo, Pharm.D., director of the Texas Panhandle Poison Center, said it is important for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in any unused, expired or unnecessary medications for proper disposal.

“Flushing or throwing old medications into the trash may contaminate the environment, pollute our drinking and ground water and harm aquatic creatures,” Jaramillo said. “Also, nationwide trends indicate that pharmaceutical abuse is second only to marijuana abuse. This is a proactive approach to safeguard our communities by providing a free and convenient way for people to dispose of these medications in a free, legal, environmentally sound and convenient manner.”

The event, which was the 16th Medication Cleanout™, had 127 participants with more than 339 pounds of medications collected. To date, more than 2,300 persons have participated and more than 6,000 pounds of unneeded medicine has been collected.

The Medication Cleanout™ was sponsored by Voices and the Managed Care Center as well as support from the schools of medicine and pharmacy and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.