Dispose of drugs safely at the Texas Tech HSC Spring Medication Cleanout

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center will host its Spring Medication Cleanout on Saturday, Apr. 22.

The event is a way for people to properly dispose of expired, unwanted or unnecessary medications.

The cleanout is an effort to get dangerous medications off the street and keep them out of the hands of children who may ingest them by accident.

Every year nearly 60,000 kids end up in the emergency room after accidentally ingesting medicine.

Cleanout director Jeanie Shawhart says getting those unused medications out of the home lowers that risk.

“This particular medication can be deadly to kids. It’s just for a cough. As you can see, they look like jellybeans,” Shawhart said. “Because of the shape, they also easily roll onto the floor where a child can get to it.

Fewer pill bottles also helps prevent a situation where the wrong medication is taken by mistake, and makes it less likely that a young person may use the drugs to harm themselves.

“It’s very important that people just remove all of the meds from their home that they can so we can reduce that risk,” Shawhart said.

If you can’t make it to the event, there are other ways to dispose of your prescriptions, but Shawhart says you don’t want to drop them in the trash can where a pet or child can get them and except for certain situations don’t flush them down the toilet.

“Dispose of the medications at a kiosk at the supermarket or at your pharmacy,” Shawhart said. “That’s the best way to dispose of the items.”

All medications dropped off will be incinerated.

The clean out event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Apr. 22 at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion.