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. If you are a long-term healthcare facility that wishes to participate in the Federal DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, please email your request to
  • DEA Take-Back
    October 23rd, 2021
    The DEA has announced they will be conducting a “modified” DEA take-back day on October 23rd, 2021, where they will be collecting from a limited number of BNE licensed 3A facilities. Not all 3A facilities will be able to participate due to COVID-19.
    In order to participate in this event, you must email with your request to participate. Do not send in the DOH-2340 and DOH-166 until we have notified you to do so. All email requests must be received at the email address above, no later than September 17th, 2021.

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