DEA Numbers Explained

This page explains what DEA numbers are and what the DEA is.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a US Department of Justice law enforcement agency responsible for combating illegal drug trade and use in the United States.

A DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) number represents a series of numbers assigned to a health care provider, which allows them to write prescriptions for controlled substances. In other words, a medical practitioner, dentist, or veterinarian needs a valid DEA number in order to prescribe controlled substances to his patients.

Legally, the DEA number is used for tracking controlled substances.

A valid DEA number consists of 2 letters, 6 numbers and 1 check digit. The first letter identifies the registrant type. The second letter represents the first letter of the registrant’s last name. The seventh digit represents a checksum calculated on the base of the first 6 numbers.

In order to obtain a valid DEA number, the health care provider must contact the Drug Enforcement Administration and obtain verification from the Board of Nursing.

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