Disposal of Controlled Substances

Controlled Substances Disposal

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Office of Diversion Control regulates the disposal of DEA controlled substances.  Proper use and disposal of DEA controlled substances is the responsibility of the individual holding the DEA registration used to obtain them.

DEA controlled substances must be disposed of through an authorized Reverse Distributor.  Reverse distributors are companies licensed and permitted to recycle and/or destroy controlled substances.

Environmental Health & Safety personnel are NOT DEA registered and therefore cannot collect, hold, or dispose of controlled substances.

Reverse Distribution Process

All reverse distributors have their own slightly different methods and requirements. The process typically involves most if not all of the following.

  • Registration with the vendor may be required by some vendors and will simplify any future disposal
  • Application for approval – either in paper form and sent by mail / fax or in electronic form (both require current DEA registration) before sending material
  • Payment – payment or payment information is required with application
  • Shipping – once authorized, items are packaged and shipped by you via an approved shipper (Fed-Ex or UPS usually)
  • Additional Forms – Completing DEA D-222 form if necessary (for Schedule I & II controlled substances)
  • Always request documentation of return/disposal/destruction

Vendors

The following is a list of DEA registered reverse distributors providing return/disposal services.  Though these distributors are listed by state, all are licensed nationwide.

DEA Registered Reverse Distributors

  • Arizona

Environmental Pharmaceuticals, LLC – (480) 659-9611

  • California

EXP Pharmaceutical Services Corporation – (800) 350-0397 or (510) 476-0909
Far West Returns – (530) 872-1758
Veolia Es Technical Solutions, LLC – (626) 945-6003

  • Florida

Pharmacy Returns Logistics – (386) 935-0876
PharmaLink, Inc. – (727) 669- 8187
Pharmatech Services, Inc. – (813) 749-7113
Rx Reverse Distributors, Inc. – (772) 388-1212
SAI Transport – (863) 858-7110
Woodfield Distributor LLC – (561) 998-3885

  • Georgia

Burke Horton, Inc. dba The Rx Exchange – (678) 306-1866
Danox Environmental Services Inc. – (404) 671-9163
Maximum Rx Credit, Inc. – (770) 985-2136
Pharmamate dba Return Co – (727) 861-1100
Return Logistics – (912) 748-5100
Stericycle, Inc. – (707) 409-1500

  • Illinois

Pharma Logistics, Ltd. – (888) 729-7427 or (847) 837-1224
Pharmaceutical Return Services – (800) 215-5878 or (630) 892-8740
Progressive Returns, Inc. – (773) 622-9584
Qualanex – (847) 775-7256

  • Indiana

Stericycle, Inc. – (317) 860-1200

  • Iowa

National Pharmaceutical Returns, Inc. – (800) 470-7725 or (515) 252-7722

  • Kentucky

Infectious Diseases Control, Inc. – (502) 647-8989

  • Michigan

Drug and Laboratory Disposal, Inc. – (800) 685-9824 or (269) 685-9824
EQ Detroit, Inc. – (313) 347-1350
US Industrial Technologies, Inc. – (734) 462-4100

  • Minnesota

EZ Pharmacy Returns, LLC – (800) 440-0613

  • New Jersey

Advanced RX Returns – (201) 222-3800

  • New York

ARK Business Services Inc – (347) 590-2779
Devoes, Ltd. Dba Guaranteed Returns – (800) 473-2138 or (631) 689-0191
Reliable RX Returns – (631) 589-4249

  • North Carolina

ALMAC Clinical Services, Inc. – (919) 479-9900
Assured Waste Solutions, LLC – (704) 865-7550
Pharmaceutical Dimensions – (336) 664-5287
Republic Environmental Systems – (704) 391-2805

  • Ohio

Achieva Group Returns, Inc. – (513) 474-9900
Chemtron Corporation – (440) 933-6348
Heritage – WTI – (330) 3895-7336

  • Oklahoma

Total Returns – (580) 276-3056

  • Pennsylvania

Chesapeake Waste Solutions, Inc. – (717) 653-8882
HDS Returns LLC – (724) 658-0206
Pharmareturns – (215) 653-7400
Republic Environmental Systems (Pennsylvania), LLC – (215) 822-8995
Prestigious RX Returns DBS PRX Returns – (570) 578-0136

  • South Carolina

Advanced Environmental Options, Inc. – (846) 488-9111

  • Tennessee

Pharmaceutical Credit Corp. – (615) 373-4262
Quality RX Returns – (865) 660-6558
Reliable Pharmaceutical Returns, LLC – (615) 361-8856
Return Solutions, Inc. – (865) 675-1355

  • Texas

Med-Turn, Inc. – (817) 868-5300
Sharps Compliance, Inc. – (903) 693-2525

  • Utah

Clean Harbor Argonite, LLC – (435) 884-8100
MD Returns – (801) 562-2498
National Products Sales – (801) 972-4132

  • Washington

P.S. Industries, Inc. – (206) 749-0739

  • Wisconsin

Capital Returns, Inc. – (800) 950-5479 or (414) 967-2800
Veolia ES Technical Solutions, LLC – (262) 255-6655

“Orphaned” Controlled Substances

Laboratories or Principle Investigators who “orphan” controlled substances by abandoning or losing control of them are in violation of federal law.  Do not create orphan drugs. If drugs are found contact Chemical Waste Management for information at (352) 392-8400.

References and additional information