Drug Enforcement Administration

Who we are:

The DEA was established in 1973 as the federal organization in charge of enforcing the controlled substances laws of the United States. Today thousands of DEA employees located in hundreds of offices across the country and around the world are dedicated to fulfilling DEA’s mission and to continuing our Tradition of Excellence. We are experts in drug enforcement: Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Forensic Scientists, Intelligence Research Specialists and highly trained support staff and we work together as one team to keep Americans safe from dangerous drugs and those that traffic in them.

What we do:

All of the resources and people of DEA are dedicated to our mission of enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. While this includes investigating criminals and drug gangs that traffic in illegal drugs, DEA’s mission also includes other important activities such as:

  • Regulating the manufacture and distribution of controlled pharmaceuticals (such as scheduled prescription drugs) and listed chemicals through DEA’s Diversion Control Division.
  • Providing and coordinating for DEA and other enforcement organizations the collection, analysis and dissemination of world class drug-related intelligence through DEA’s Intelligence Division.
  • Analyzing evidence and providing science-based research that supports drug-related investigations and the U.S. criminal justice system at-large through DEA’s Office of Forensic Sciences. This includes chemical analysis of suspected controlled substances, but also encompasses other areas such as digital evidence analysis, crime scene investigations and the disposal of hazardous chemical waste.
  • Support for drug demand reduction and prevention programs through educational and other campaigns and initiatives including the Red Ribbon Campaign, National Takeback Days and Operation Engage.

To find out more about what we do, or to join us, search this website, or visit the DEA Museum and Visitors Center virtually on this website or at our headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.