TTUHSC to Host Lubbock’s Spring Medication Cleanout™

students participating in the Lubbock Medication Cleanou

To provide a safe and environmentally friendly way for people to properly dispose of expired, unwanted or unnecessary medications, the Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC), managed by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, will host Lubbock’s Spring Medication Cleanout™ event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion.

Medication Cleanout™ employs a drive-thru, drop-off format that allows residents to conveniently dispose of their medications without leaving their cars. Yard signs will be posted to help drivers locate the drive-thru path.

TPPC Managing Director Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz, Pharm.D., said the Medication Cleanout™ program helps the TPPC take a proactive approach to safeguarding communities by providing a free and convenient way for people to dispose of medications in a legal and environmentally sound manner. The program also provides disposal services for syringes and sharps.

students participating in the Lubbock Medication Cleanout

“Old medications become potential sources of poisoning to young children or may be accessed by teens experimenting with drugs,” said Jaramillo-Stametz, who also is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy. “They also pose a hazard for adults and elderly as they increase the risk of choosing the wrong bottle or taking medications that are no longer required.”

“Taking a few minutes to clean out your medication could be a life-saving task because poisoning, including medication overdose, is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the country,” Jaramillo-Stametz stressed. “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.”

This is TPPC’s 77th Medication Cleanout™ event. Since 2009 when the program began, more than 70,000 pounds of medications and sharps have been collected for proper disposal. Jaramillo-Stametz said medications should be left in their original containers. Because of environmental restrictions, only medications from households can be accepted. Medications from clinics, pharmacies and other businesses are not allowed.

Volunteers providing support for the event include staff from TPPC, the Texas Tech University (TTU) Police Department and the Department of Community, Family and Addiction Services at the TTU College of Human Sciences. Pre-pharmacy students from TTU and students from the TTUHSC Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing also are volunteering for the event. For more information, call (806) 414-9495 or visit MedicationCleanout.com.

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