The DEA Form 106 Step-by-step Guide

We are in no way affiliated with the DEA. Instead, this guide is simply meant to help healthcare professionals and DEA registrants submit DEA Form 106 when controlled substances have been lost or stolen.

Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Identify if you need to submit Form 106 to the DEA.

  • You should submit the form when your facility has a “significant” amount of controlled substances go missing through being misplaced or stolen

  • Breakage or spillage of controlled substances is not reported under DEA Form 106 and is instead reported under DEA Form 41

  • It’s best to take your facility’s size and daily quantity of controlled substances handled into account when deciding what signifies a minor inventory shortage vs. a significant loss

    • Minor inventory shortages do not need to be reported

    • Also, it’s good take into account if the substance that’s unaccounted for is a common target for theft or if there is a pattern of losses

    • The DEA does not specify any particular quantities or numerical thresholds when it says “significant loss” (usually it’s best to err on the side of caution and report the loss)

Step 2: Notify the local Field Division Office of the Administration in your area upon discovery of the loss of controlled substances

  • You can find your local office’s information and location through the DEA’s site

  • This should be done immediately

  • The DEA recommends that you notify them via fax

  • Once you’ve notified your local office, you can move onto filling out the actual DEA Form 106

    • For the official form, you have more time while you gather more information as you investigate

    • The DEA advises that you provide updates if the investigation takes more than two months and believes a goal of submitting the form within 30 days is good practice

Step 3: Gather necessary info, as you’ll need:

  • Your DEA number

  • Your last name or the business name you used to register with the DEA

  • Background info on the controlled substances:

    • The names

    • Dosage strength

    • Forms (vials, liquids, tablets, etc.)

    • Quantities

  • Background info of the incident

    • Date and place

    • The type (night break-in, armed robbery, etc.)

    • The estimated value of the controlled substances

Step 4: Fill out DEA Form 106

  • You’ll submit through the Diversion Control Division online portal

  • Most of it is pretty straightforward.

  • Question #17 is where we want to help you with your security. The question asks: “What security measures have been taken to prevent future thefts or losses?”

Step 6: Thefts and losses are also reported to ARCOS

Step 7: Keep records of everything

  • Make a copy of the notification letter that you fax to your local Field Division Office

  • In addition, DEA regulations specify that you keep a copy of DEA Form 106 for your records for two years

Step 8: Don’t stress out

  • While submitting forms to the DEA or any government institution can be stressful and daunting, just remember, the people in those government offices are just regular people

    • They’re just trying to make their job go as smoothly as possible, just like you, so they can go home at the end of the day with as little stress as possible

    • We can all work together to improve our systems for handling and distributing controlled substances