Medication Cleanout clears-up Amarillo prescriptions

      The Texas Panhandle Poison Center expected nearly 600 cars for the Medication Cleanout.

      To date, the nationally recognized event, Medication Cleanout has safely disposed of more than 12,000 pounds of medication from 30 cleanout events in the Texas Panhandle.

      The Texas Panhandle Poison Center and the Amarillo Police Department collaborated efforts for the 5th annual event.

      "A lot of people really don't know what to do with old prescriptions," Educator Ronica Farrar said. "They know not to flush them down the toilet, and they know not to throw them in the trash, but then they hold onto them and that's not good either."

      Farrar said the center has three goals, "We want to prevent poisoning, prevent abuse, and prevent misuse."

      To do that the center hosts a cleanout twice a year, and disposes of medications in a way that's environmentally friendly.

      "At this time regulations prevent us from reusing the medications," Farrar said. "So all of the medications we collect here today, along with the bottles, will be incinerated."

      But it's more than just a cleanout, it's an eye-opener for Texas Tech Pharmacy students who will soon be on the other side of the counter.

      "We see the side of people filling that medication, but there's a whole world out there that happens after that," Pharmacy Student Justin Thomas said. "How are people taking their medication? How are they using them and are they actually taking them?"

      The information students want during a cleanout gets so detailed, they are broken-up into sections.

      Senior Judd Ramsey said, "I log the control medication, and the reason why we're doing that is so that we can see how doctors prescribe, basically their prescription habits.

      But before they can get numbers, they need more people to drop off expired or leftover medications.

      The Texas Panhandle Poison Center also has a new office on Texas Tech campus.