Contrary to popular belief, if you find that your medications are well past their expiration date, the toilet is the last place you should be sending them.

What many people don't realize is that once you flush, that water goes to a treatment facility to remove the pollutants and then be disinfected before being "used again for any number of purposes, such as supplying drinking water, irrigating crops, and sustaining aquatic life."

While these processes eliminate debris and bacteria in the wastewater, they aren't designed to remove pharmaceuticals. By putting these drugs down the commode, you could be exposing your community to the chemicals in these medications. Thus, it's recommended that you take your expired products to a controlled substance disposal location.

Unfortunately, Lubbock only has a few spots that provide this service, and the receptacles fill up quickly. Thankfully, the Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC), managed by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, is hosting a fall medication cleanout this Saturday, October 1st.

Medication Disposal

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

At this free event, South Plains residents can simply drive through and drop off their unused and expired medications without even having to leave the car. They will also provide disposal services for syringes or sharps. If you'd like to participate, the cleanup will be going on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Texas Tech Physicians Medical Pavilion at 3601 4th Street.

While you may be thinking that it would be much easier to just leave them in the cabinet or throw them in the trash, remember that if you have small children in the home these medications can be an extremely dangerous item to have lying around. Additionally, medication overdose is the third most common means of
suicide in the United States. By making this simple drive and removing these unnecessary drugs from your home, you could unknowingly be saving a life.

For more information, folks can call (806) 414-9495 or go to the website MedicationCleanout.

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