Pharmacy Services

Disposal of Controlled Substances - New Rules

September 12, 2014

DEA issued a final rule on September 9, 2014 expanding collection and disposal methods for controlled substances. Prior to the ruling, patients were limited to surrendering controlled substances to law enforcement officials or destroying controlled substances themselves. The new regulations implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, providing patients with additional disposal resources such as collection receptacles and mail-back programs. The regulations permit patients to transfer controlled substances to authorized collectors for disposal, including community pharmacies, hospitals and clinics with an on-site pharmacy, narcotic treatment programs, manufacturers, distributors, and reverse distributors. Pharmacies may also oversee collection at long-term care facilities. Participation in controlled substance collection and disposal is completely voluntary and no financial subsidy or assistance is provided to offset costs. All collectors must modify their registration with the DEA prior to starting or stopping controlled substances collection and disposal activities. The DEA is allowing online registration modification in order to streamline the registration process ( The new rule is effective October 9, 2014.

Additional information is available at the following links:

September 12, 2014; University of Utah, Drug Information Service. Copyright 2014, Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.