LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is hosting their 73rd event for Medication Cleanout. The focus of the event is to properly dispose of medications that have expired or that aren’t being used in people’s homes.
Charles Seifert, Regional Dean of the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy, said getting rid of medication is important to keep it out of hands of children and family members who could abuse prescriptions.
“The number one place that people who are going to abuse prescription opioids is from a family member or friend,” said Seifert. “You might have an elderly grandparent or something who was dying of cancer so they … have all of this extra medicine sitting there and then a younger person says, ‘Hey, it must be fun to try.’ So, they try it, [and] get addicted.”
Seifert said disposing of medication can help eliminate confusion if there’s more than one medication in their cabinet as well.
Jeanie Jamarillo-Stametz, Managing Director at the Texas Panhandle Poison Center, said they have had an increased case load of people who are attempting suicide.
“While we’re not exactly sure of the cause, we do feel like perhaps people being at home, not having access to mental health care or being depressed or sad with the pandemic has actually led to more people going to the medicine cabinet for some sort of relief or as a suicidal gesture,” said Jamarillo-Stametz.
Jamarillo-Stametz said with the pandemic, there’s also been an increased amount of young children taking vitamin-type products and supplements.
Jamarillo-Stametz said the event will also help dispose of syringes used for allergy shots and or insulin shots but that they must be protected in a closed plastic container.
The Medication Cleanout event will take place Saturday October 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion located at 3601 4th Street.