Poison Center Urges People to Clean Out Medicine Cabinets

Ronica Farrar, Texas Panhandle Poison Center
Ronica Farrar, Texas Panhandle Poison Center

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - There's an advisory going out this evening from the Texas Panhandle Poison Center following reports showing nearly 2,000 Texans died in 2008 from accidental drug overdoses.

Accidental drug overdoses are characterized by misuse or accidental.Misuse includes a child rummaging through the pharmaceuticals and consuming pills, thinking they are candy.A poisoning is considered accidental when someone mistakenly takes the wrong medication.If someone intentionally pops a pill to get high, that is considered abuse, not an accident.

Texas Panhandle Poison Center officials tell NewsChannel 10, in 2008, of the hundreds of overdoses they encountered, two turned fatal, but they say there were many others in the panhandle.

Poisoning accounts for the second leading cause of injury or unintentional death. A huge chunk of that poisoning is blamed on accidental drug overdoses.  Poison center administrators tell NewsChannel 10, many overdoses could be avoided if people just threw out their unnecessary medicine.

"Tylenol, Advil, Rolaids, anything you don't use...there is no sense in keeping it...they can be very dangerous and cause lots of problems, its like keeping a loaded gun...you wouldn't leave it around for people to get in it." said Ronica Farrar with the Texas Panhandle Poison Center.

Farrar advises people to dispose of medications properly. When you flush medications, the drugs break down and end up in our water system. If you just toss them, children or animals could rummage through the garbage and end up consuming those pharmaceuticals.

The best way is to hand the drugs over in a medication clean out.