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Controlled Substances

Find out where you can take back controlled substances in Washington State. Current drop-off sites are a temporary solution. We need a permanent statewide program!


Yes Substances Icon  YES, accepted at law enforcement offices


No Substances Icon  NO, not accepted at pharmacies


Controlled substances are drugs with a high potential for abuse and addiction. Examples include:

  • Narcotic pain killers such as Vicodin®, OxyContin®, Percocet®, codeine, methadone, Fentanyl® patches and morphine
  • Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin®  and Adderall®
  • Depressants such as Xanax® , Valium®  and lorazepam


Under current federal law, controlled substance drugs possessed by a patient can only be returned to law enforcement officials.  If you are uncertain if your medicine is a controlled substance, ask your pharmacist. 

Find law enforcement locations in Washington that accept all medicines, including controlled substances.

Do not flush down the toilet or sink!  If a drop off location is not available to you, use these instructions to dispose of your medicines in the garbage.

Great news!  Congress passed legislation in September 2010 that removes the restriction that only law enforcement take-back programs collect controlled substances from residents. When this law goes into effect, creators of medicine take-back programs will have more options for return of unwanted medicines.

Back to Temporary Drop-Off Locations

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