What is a Controlled Medication?

A controlled substance is generally a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, or use are regulated by the government because of their potential for abuse or addiction. Such drugs include those classified as narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and cannabis. Controlled substances do not include many prescription items such as antibiotics. Based on rules made by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), medications that are controlled drugs may only be disposed of by registered and authorized collectors. Every law enforcement agency in Ingham County has a drop-box for proper disposal of controlled drugs.

For a complete list of controlled substances Click Here.

How do I prepare the medication?

Bring medications in their original container. Do not remove the name of the medication. Pharmacy staff must be able to see the medication type so it can be properly sorted. Block out ALL identifying personal information on the prescription label. This can be done at the pharmacy.

Drop Box Poster

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Drop Box

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Accepted at Law Enforcement Drop Boxes:

  • Pain Relievers
    • Vicodin, Hydrocordone, Demerol, Fentanyl
  • Anxiety Medication
    • Valium, Xanax
  • Sleep Aids
    • Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata
  • Behavior Modification Medication
    • Ritalin, Methylphenidate, Adderal
  • Illegal Drugs
    • Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine

Not Accepted at Law Enforcement Dropboxes

  • Non-controlled medications
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs
  • Medicated ointments & lotions
  • Insulin
  • Inhalers
  • Vitamins & supplements
  • Needles, syringes, lancets, Epi-pens
  • Thermometers
  • Personal care products
  • Hazardous materials
  • Hazardous pharmaceuticals
  • Medical/infectious waste


This list is not all inclusive; All controlled substances are accepted.

Controlled substances are accepted without question or prosecution.


Due to the high cost of disposal, non-controlled substances are not accepted in law enforcement dropboxes. Please dispose of non-controlled medications at a participating pharmacy.


Click here to find a drop box near you.

Click here to find out how to dispose of non-controlled medicines.

Non-program Items:

  • Sharps – Needles, lancets, syringes, Epi-pens
  • Empty intervenous (IV) bags, bloody or infectious waste
  • Lice Shampoo (pesticides)
  • Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, etc.
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Electronic devices – diabetes testers etc.
  • Thermometers
  • Empty containers
  • Business Waste – schools, medical offices, group homes other health care facilities

Click here for non-program disposal options.

Can’t get to a drop off location?

If you can’t get to a drop off location but need a last resort for safely disposing your medication watch this video to learn how.