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Medication clean outs in rural areas

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Prescription drug abuse has been a growing problem for years in the panhandle.

The Medication Clean Out held twice a year in Amarillo has been a helpful tool to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands. Now members of communities farther away will have that opportunity.

"Currently the CDC says prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S.," Jeanie Jaramillo, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor said.

And that trend has been no different for the panhandle. Having the opportunity to take these potentially dangerous drugs out of homes has been an effective tool at battling this issue. But rural areas of the panhandle often don't have that opportunity.

"Sometimes the kids in our smaller rural communities, they lack activities to keep them busy, so they may be more opt to look for medications to try out. So it's very important they have the opportunity to, those parents have the opportunity to clean out their medication cabinets and bring those items so they're not there," Jaramillo said.

That opportunity is being brought to Pampa. A medication clean out day will be held on October 2nd as part of the Pampa Health Fair.

"I think it's important because it services the rural community. Not everyone can make it to Amarillo, or have that service meet the days that they have it in Amarillo. For them to just be in Pampa they can drop off the medication easily. It's just what we wanted to offer," Lindsey Been, Accolade Home Health Care Account Manager and coordinator of the health fair said.

Been says she's often asked what to do with medications when an elderly family member passes away. She's seen a need for a clean out in the Pampa area.

"Their children and teenagers are just as susceptible to poisoning and abuse as ours are here in the Amarillo area," Jaramillo said.

Accolade Home Health Care is sponsoring the health fair that will take place Wednesday October 2nd from 10 to 4 at the MK Brown Auditorium in Pampa.

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