Spring clean your medicine cabinet to get rid of expired medication

Did you know that a medicine cabinet full of unused, unneeded or expired medicine can add to the confusion of older folks who may take a lot of medications anyway?

And if that confusion leads to over-medication, that can trigger other health problems, including dementia.

Dr. Charles Seifert, Regional Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Texas Tech, says that is just one reason why officials at the Health Sciences Center are suggesting your spring cleaning include the medicine cabinet to get rid of any drugs you or your loved ones don't need anymore.

He says that will also protect against accidental poisoning among children and the temptation for drug abuse among others.

Twice a year, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center makes it easy for the public to dispose of drugs safely using a drive-thru/drop-off in the HSC parking lot. It's called the Medication Cleanout. Dr Seifert says it's been a huge success since the program started.

He describes how much has been collected since the program began, "Over 20 tons, 44,000 pounds of drugs. We have events twice a year at the 3 main campuses in Lubbock Amarillo and Abilene."

Dr. Seifert has one important request when you deliver your old medication. He says, "They should be left in their original container. Don't mix them into one container. That makes our job a lot harder."  He adds, "You'll just drive up. Put them in a paper sack if you want to and then the person taking them has several questions like how many in your household, what are the ages of people. Then that's it and you drive away. It's that easy.

Trained professionals will be standing by in the HSC parking lot to take and dispose of the medications properly so that the drugs are not a risk to the community or to the environment.

The Medication Cleanout is Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the TTUHSC medical pavilion building facing 4th street, just west of Indiana.

For more information about the Medication Cleanout™, call (806) 414-9495 or visit www.MedicationCleanout.com.

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