Safe Disposal of Controlled Substances

Safe Disposal of Unused Controlled Substances by Consumers

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has revised its regulations to expand the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for purpose of disposal, including: take-back events, mail-back programs and collection receptacle locations.

Recent New York State (NYS) legislation, Chapter 379 of the Laws of 2015 (S.3687/A.6062), removed the requirement that the Commissioner of Health must designate pharmacies as disposal sites and added that disposal shall be operated by law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, "and other Federal Drug Enforcement Administration authorized collectors." This legislation also removed the requirement that the Commissioner of Health make regulations in consultation with the Commissioner of Education to allow for entities to participate in expanded activities under federal rule.

Accordingly, the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement authorizes all activities allowed under the federal DEA's Disposal of Controlled Substances Final Rule. Manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, hospitals/clinics with and on-site pharmacy and retail pharmacies may apply directly to the DEA for registration as a "Collector". For more information, click on the following links:

  • Drug Disposal Information (
  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. Long term healthcare facilities who are licensed as Class 3A Institutional Dispensers Limited may take part in the Take Back. Please monitor this page for all updates and instructions regarding the next Take Back event.

Please note: current NYS Regulations under 10 NYCRR 80.51 related to surrender and disposal of controlled substances remain in effect.