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Spring 2013 Medication Cleanout

Poison Center Sets Date for Spring Medication Cleanout™

Continuing an important community program that began in 2009, the Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC) will conduct its next Medication Cleanout™ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23rd at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy Academic Center at 1300 S. Coulter St.

The free event will employ a drive-thru, drop-off format and signs will be posted. People dropping off medications for disposal should leave medications in their original containers when possible. All identifying patient information will be blacked out prior to disposal. Because of environmental restrictions, only household medications can be accepted. Medications from clinics, pharmacies and other businesses are not allowed.

The Medication Cleanout™ program seeks to reduce the roughly 38,000 poisoning deaths that occur throughout the country each year by giving people a safe method for disposing unused, expired or unneeded medications from in a free, legal, convenient and environmentally safe manner.

“This is also a good opportunity for families who have had a loved one pass away to safely dispose of those remaining medications,” said TPPC Managing Director Jeanie Jaramillo, Pharm.D.

When left in the home, medications can become potential sources of poisoning to young children or accessed by teens that may be experimenting with drugs. However, flushing or throwing away old medications can contaminate the environment, pollute drinking and groundwater and harm aquatic creatures.

In 22 previous Medication Cleanout™ events, TPPC has collected more than 9,600 pounds of unused medications, including 694 pounds of controlled substances. Because of the program’s success, Jaramillo said the School of Pharmacy has more data regarding unused medications than any other known entity in the U.S. She hopes the data will be used to drive prescribing and dispensing practice changes and to push for laws that give people the ability to donate unused, tamper-sealed medications.

For more information about the Medication Cleanout, contact TPPC at (806) 351-5626 or visit