ABILENE, TX — Texas Tech is holding a medicine clean-out on Saturday.
The event highlights a big underlying issue of misusing prescription drugs.
The school is asking the community to clean out their medicine cabinets because hanging on to drugs can lead to problems.
“If you have any unused or expired medications sitting in your medicine cabinet that you don’t need anymore, to dispose of it in a safe way,” Dean of the School of Pharmacy Sara Brouse said.
Brouse added, “we collect about eight thousand pounds of expired or unused medications every six months.”
School staff said the drugs sitting in your cabinet may seem harmless, but it's far from that.
Other family members or house guests can steal the pills, sell them or take them.
This "easy access" is a huge risk.
“When we go to the physician we might have a dental appointment for removal of our wisdom teeth, or we may have a sports injury and we’re given some pain medication. It takes very little to release that pain and then the rest of that sits in the cabinet,” Director of the Panhandle Poison Center Jeanie Jarmailla-Stamez said.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services told Abilene Police: Taylor County reports a higher rate of opioid prescription claims when compared to regional state and national rates.
Dropping off the meds doesn’t only prevent abuse, but also environmental hazards.
“There are very low levels of different types of drugs in the water, which can be dangerous to people,” Browse said.
Brouse said this comes from people flushing pills down the toilet.
The drive-thru will be open on their campus this Saturday between 10 am and 2 pm.