The Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC) has announced fall dates for the next round of Medication Cleanout, an important community program that it started in 2009.
The fall collection cycle will begin Sept. 10 at the TTUHSC campus in Amarillo. Medication collection runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, volunteers are also needed to help set up prior to the collection and to continue logging medications after collection ends. TPPC Managing Director Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, Pharm.D., said shifts are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and from 1:45 to 5:45 p.m. Volunteers can sign up for one shift or both.
“Medication Cleanout cannot function without the assistance of volunteers, especially TTUHSC students, faculty and staff,” Jaramillo-Stametz stressed. “As always, we really need your help, so please consider participating as a volunteer.”
Training for the Amarillo collection is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9. Jaramillo-Stametz said the training is mandatory for all volunteers who have not previously participated.
“We strongly encourage even those who have volunteered before to attend the training,” Jaramillo-Stametz said. “For those who have not volunteered before, Medication Cleanout events are a lot of fun and a great learning and community service experience. You will see firsthand the unbelievable effect of non-adherence, overprescribing and over-marketing. And, the community participants are so grateful for the opportunity to properly dispose of their medications.”
To date, TPPC has conducted 44 Medication Cleanout collections that have resulted in the appropriate disposal of more than 28,000 pounds of unused or unwanted medication. Jaramillo-Stametz said the events help to reduce accidental poisonings and medication misuse and drug abuse.
“This is also a good opportunity for families who have had a loved one pass away to safely dispose of leftover meds,” Jaramillo-Stametz added. “People are told not to flush these drugs or throw them in the trash because this may result in contamination of the water supply, but they are not really provided with alternatives. The Medication Cleanout event provides a safe and responsible alternative.”
TPPC will complete its fall Medication Cleanout cycle with collections at the TTUHSC campuses in Lubbock (Oct. 1) and Abilene (Oct. 22). Training is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. the Friday prior to each collection.