Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy to Host Fall Medication Cleanout

volunteers standing near medication that is has been handed off during medication cleanout

Medication Cleanout employs a drive-thru, drop-off format

Expired, unused or unwanted medications pose dangers, even if they are locked up. In an ongoing effort to help local residents properly dispose of their 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 Fall Medication Cleanout event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sep. 23 (Saturday) at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion, 3601 Fourth St.

Medication Cleanout employs a drive-thru, drop-off format which allows residents to conveniently dispose of their medications without leaving their cars. The program also provides disposal services for syringes and sharps. Yard signs will be posted to help drivers locate the drive-thru path.

TPPC Managing Director Jeanie Shawhart, Pharm.D., said that the Medication Cleanout gives residents of Lubbock and the surrounding areas an opportunity to dispose of expired or no longer needed medications in a quick, free, convenient and environmentally safe manner. Shawhart added that keeping these medications around young children or teens could pose a deadly risk.

volunteers organizing during a medication cleanout

Medication cleanouts are quick, free, convenient and environmentally safe

“Toddlers like to mimic adults and are prone to putting things in their mouths,” Shawhart said. “If they find meds around, they are likely to place them in their mouth and chew or swallow them. This places them at a risk of poisoning. With our teens, there is a risk of poisoning by experimentation or intentional overdose. Intentional medication overdose is not an uncommon occurrence in teens and young adults.

These age groups may be prone to depression or other mental illness and may seek medications as a source for relief or as suicidal gestures.”

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.

“There’s no time like the present to take a few minutes and clear these items out; reducing the potential risks they create in our homes,” Shawhart said. “You might just save a life!”

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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