Drug depositories proving to be a success in Amarillo, but concerns remain

Drug depositories proving to be a success in Amarillo, but concerns remain

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Prescription drugs continue to pour into collection bins in Amarillo, taking them out of the wrong hands.

Leftover prescription drugs have been a battle families across the country have fought for years...and Amarillo is no different.

A return box sits in the lobby of the Potter County Sheriff's Office. Anyone is allowed to come in, drop off unwanted medications and leave without explaining anything.

Recently, deputies say they have had to empty it more often. The box is normally emptied two times a year, but officials say the rate now runs closer to once a month.

"It's really been very beneficial," Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. "It allows the public to come in no questions asked, dump whatever they have in there. We would even take illegal narcotics, however we've never had any dumped in there. Almost everything we get in there is either over the counter, or it's some sort of prescription narcotics."

While many officials agree the rise in received drugs is great, others are concerned with the amount of pain medication they are seeing.

"We're receiving 50, 60, up to 90% of what was prescribed to the patient," Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo of the Panhandle Poison Center said. "That means they're being prescribed and dispensed more than what they need."

This is yet another battle researchers will have to take on. Until then, they are pleased with the way people are disposing of their products and will continue to promote awareness.

"They can come any time," Thomas said. "We don't track who it is, or what they're dumping in there. We don't care as long as we can get it off the streets and that's the key.".

Texas Tech is also planning their annual "medication clean out" event on Saturday April 9th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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