Spring Cleaning, Don’t Forget Your Medicine Cabinet

As you tackle your closets and home for spring cleaning this year, medical experts say don’t forget your medicine cabinet. When old medications are left to collect dust, they become potential sources of poisoning to young children or may be accessed by teens experimenting with drugs.

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy’s Texas Panhandle Poison Center will host a Medication Cleanout™ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion, 3601 Fourth St.

Jeanie Jaramillo, Pharm.D., director of the Texas Panhandle Poison Center, encourages Lubbock area 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, the abuse of prescription medications is now the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. 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.”

The event will be conducted using a drive-thru, drop-off format and signs will be posted. Medications must be in their original containers. To date, 22 Medication Cleanouts™ have been conducted and 9,600 pounds of unneeded medicine have been disposed of properly. These medicines are no longer a threat for poisoning, abuse, misuse or environmental contamination. Because of environmental restrictions, only medications from households can be accepted; loads of medications from clinics, pharmacies and other businesses are not allowed.

The Medication Cleanout™ is a TTUHSC School of Pharmacy initiative and is sponsored by the VOICES Coalition and the Managed Care Center with support from the TTUHSC School of Medicine and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department. For more information about the Medication Cleanout™, call (806) 351-5626 or visit www.MedicationCleanout.com.

For more breaking news and experts, follow @ttuhscnews on Twitter.

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