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Controlled Substances Program

Learn about UC San Diego's Controlled Substances Program.

Controlled substances are drugs or chemicals whose manufacture, possession, and use are regulated by the government.

UCSD Controlled Substances Program

UC San Diego currently holds a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration governing the use of controlled substances for research, veterinary, and teaching purposes.

UCSD's Controlled Substances Program (PDF) describes authorization to conduct work with controlled substances, employee and institutional responsibilities, and operational requirements.

The CS Program is administered by the CS Program Manager in Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S).

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Determine if a chemical is a CS

At UCSD, controlled substances include all DEA-scheduled substances, DEA List 1 chemicals, and California Precursors.

If a chemical you require for research is classified as a CS or listed chemical, you must have an approved Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA) before work can begin.

Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA)

Research authorization

Principal investigators (PIs) must obtain a CSUA to possess and use CS for any of these purposes:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary care
  • Clinical trial (only if your facility is located off campus)

Clinical trials performed on campus through the pharmacy do not require a CSUA.

Additional authorizations and registrations from the CS Program Manager may be required for certain project-specific substances, locations, or purposes not covered by the university's standard DEA registration.

CSUA online application

The Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA) online application provides a central and secure resource for the essential business processes and internal controls of UC San Diego's Controlled Substance Program, from application and authorization to inventory and personnel management.

  • Read CSUA Application to learn how to:
    • Apply for a new CSUA
    • Designate CSUA Lab Contacts
    • Manage Authorized Personnel
    • Upload Personnel Screening Data Sheets (PSDS) forms
    • Monitor training status
    • Order CS online
    • Manage inventory online
    • Request CS disposal
    • Amend, renew, or deactivate a CSUA
Learn more about the CS Program:

Principal investigators

Principal investigators

  • CSUA: PIs are responsible at all times for maintaining a current CSUA, accurate online inventory and on-site Log Book, and supervising their CS facility and Authorized Personnel in compliance with UCSD's Controlled Substances Program.
  • Secure storage and inventory: The PI will provide EH&S-approved, secure storage and ensure restricted access and key control. CS Usage Log Sheets and Log Books must be kept in the approved controlled substances storage area.
  • Training: All personnel working with CS, including PIs, are required to complete the Controlled Substances Training eCourse on UC Learning Center, with refresher training required every 4 years.
  • Sabbatical: A CSUA may remain active during sabbatical leave when an acting PI is named in writing and approved by the Department Chair and CS Program Manager. Alternatively, the Department Chair may serve as the acting PI.

Authorized Personnel

Authorized Personnel

Authorized Personnel are individuals designated by the PI to access and work with controlled substances under a specific CSUA.

Final approval of Authorized Personnel rests with the CS Program Manager, following verification of DEA-required information applicants provide on the Personnel Screening Data Sheet. Having access to CS is a privilege and can be revoked by the PI or EH&S.

  • Authorized Personnel responsibilities:
    • Use CS exclusively for the purpose stated in CSUA.
    • Maintain a secure storage location for CS at all times.
    • Return CS to the secure storage location when not in use.
    • Record dispensation of any CS in the Log Sheet.
    • Do not share CS with non-authorized personnel (refer to CSUA for authorized list). 
    • Do not dispense or log out CS for use by others.
    • Properly dispose of CS.
    • Report CS inventory discrepancies, suspected misuse, or theft to the CS Program Manager, (858) 534-1362, immediately.
  • Training: Authorized Personnel working with CS are required to complete the Controlled Substances Training eCourse on UC Learning Center, with refresher training required every 4 years.

Department Chairs

Department Chairs

  • Department Chairs must notify EH&S when:
    • A new PI is expected to arrive on campus in possession of CS
    • A PI with CS authorization dies or intends to terminate employment
  • CSUA applications: Department Chairs review and approve or reject CSUA applications for their department. Department Chairs cannot authorize their own CSUA.
  • Inventory and Log Sheets: Department Chairs are responsible for ensuring that a current inventory of all CS under his/her purview is maintained by the PI on CS Log Sheet in an on-site Log Book available for periodic audit by EH&S and/or the DEA.

Personal Screening Data Sheet (PSDS)

Final approval of all CSUA applicants and Authorized Personnel rests with the CS Program Manager, following verification of DEA-required information applicants provide on the Personnel Screening Data Sheet.

  • PSDS Forms for PIs and Applicants are available on the EH&S Forms page in the Controlled Substances section.

All applicants must answer questions concerning:

  • Felony convictions in connection with controlled substances
  • Surrendering previous registrations or having registration revoked, suspended, or denied
  • Any use of narcotics, amphetamines, or barbiturates other than those prescribed to the applicant by a physician

Training requirement

PIs, CSUA Lab Contacts, and Authorized Personnel who require access to controlled substances must complete Controlled Substances Training on UC Learning Center, with refresher training required every 4 years. (UC BUS-50 Controlled Substances)

How to get the training:

Storage requirements

Ordering CS

Inventory / Log Sheets

Disposal of CS

Note: To dispose of pharmaceuticals that are not CS, see Pharmaceuticals Disposal.


Policies and regulations

UC San Diego

University of California



Report a problem

It is your responsibility to immediately report any controlled substance (CS) problems to the PI and EH&S. This includes discrepancies in usage logs and disposal records, and any suspected theft, loss or disappearance of CS. The Controlled Substance Program will investigate any reported issues and contact UCPD and the DEA if required. 

You may report illicit activities, anonymously if you wish, by calling Wendy Scott at 858-534-1362 or Monica Esswein at 858-534-9016. Call immediately after determining the material was lost, stolen or improperly disposed. You may also contact the CS Program with any additional questions by calling the numbers above or emailing ehscs@ucsd.edu.  

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Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/cs