The following is a press release from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center:

LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — In an ongoing effort to help local residents to properly dispose of all 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 Fall Medication Cleanout™ event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1 (Saturday) at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion, 3601 Fourth St.

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 Shawhart, Pharm.D., said old medications may be accessed by teens experimenting with drugs or become sources of potential poisoning to young children. They also pose a hazard to adults and elderly because they increase the risk of choosing the wrong bottle or taking medications that are no longer required.

Shawhart, who also is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, said the Medication Cleanout™ program takes a proactive approach to safeguarding communities by providing a free and convenient way for people to dispose of these medications in a legal and environmentally sound manner.

“We encourage Lubbock residents and those from the surrounding communities to bring their unused, expired or unnecessary medications for proper disposal,” Shawhart added. “We also provide disposal services for syringes or sharps.”

This is TPPC’s 77th Medication Cleanout™ event since the program’s 2009 inception. To date, more than 69,000 pounds of medications and sharps have been collected for proper disposal. Shawhart said the abuse of prescription medications continues to be a national epidemic.

“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,” Shawhart stressed. “Many pre-teens, teens and adults

are experiencing depression and sadness, and the pandemic certainly magnified some of those feelings, which could lead them to impulsively turn to the medicine cabinet for relief or as a suicidal gesture. Because of this, taking a few minutes to clean out your medication could be a life-saving task because poisoning, which includes medication overdose, is the third most common means of suicide today in the U.S.”

Shawhart said medications brought to the event for disposal 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 from the Department of Community, Family and Addiction Services at the Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences will provide support for Lubbock’s fall Medication Cleanout™. For more information, call (806) 414-9495 or visit MedicationCleanout.com.

(Press release from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center)