Controlled Substances

Providing assistance and monitoring for the use of regulated drugs and precursors in research.

 How Do I:

Know if a chemical or drug is regulated and requires special controls?

Controlled Substances: The following controlled substances are commonly used for research in campus laboratories:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Buprenorphine
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Ketamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Phenobarbital

A complete list of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances by schedule. A complete federal list (List I Chemicals) of precursors. The State of California maintains a list of precursor chemicals which includes all federal List I Chemicals plus a few additional chemicals.

Get authorization to use controlled substances in my research?

In order to work with controlled substances on the Berkeley campus, the principal investigator (PI) must obtain a controlled substances use authorization (CSUA), and each researcher working with the controlled substance(s) must be added to that registration. 

CSUA approval is required prior to use of any controlled substances in research activities.

Please contact with any questions about controlled substances use authorizations (CSUAs).

Obtain a CSUA for Research

Only a principal investigator (PI) may submit a registration application to obtain a CSUA for their research. 

Project Registration

Complete and submit a Project Registration Form. Paper copies must be delivered to EH&S in 317 University Hall.

Animal Use Protocol

For projects involving administration of controlled substances to animals, a copy of the Animal Use Protocol (AUP) approval letter must be sent to EH&S at    

Criminal Background Check and Required Forms

Obtain a criminal background check (Live Scan) with the campus police department (UCPD). Please refer to How do I Get a Background Check? for details and required forms.

Complete Training 

All principal investigators must complete the required training prior to approval of a CSUA. EHS 501 Controlled Substances Used in Research is an online course available in the UC Learning Center.

EH&S Inspection and Approval

Prior to approval of a CSUA, EH&S will perform an inspection of the proposed storage space and verify its security.

Additional Requirements

Research activities involving controlled substances not administered to animals require additional verification from an organizational official. This may include a department chair, college dean, or other organizational executive.

Add a Researcher to an Existing CSUA

Only a principal investigator (PI) may request an amendment to an existing CSUA.

Request an Amendment

Principal investigator completes and submits a Project Registration Update Form to EH&S at For more information about updating your registration, see: How do I make changes to my controlled substances use authorization?

Criminal Background Check and Disclosure

Researchers must obtain a criminal background check (Live Scan) with the campus police department (UCPD). Submit a signed copy of the background check disclosure form to EH&S.

Complete Training

All researchers working with controlled substances must complete the required training course. EHS 501 Controlled Substances Used in Research is an online course available in the UC Learning Center.

Get a background check?


  1. Contact your departmental HR to arrange the documents and schedule an appointment at UCPD.
  2. Bring completed Background Check documents (Live Scan Service Form, Background Check Disclosure Form, 2-Page Release and Disclose Form, and Interdepartmental Order/Charge form) to your appointment at UCPD.


  • Instructions for Completing Background Checks (PDF)
  • Background Checks Q & A (PDF)
  • Controlled Substances Live Scan Service Form (Pre-filled) (PDF)
  • 2-Page Release & Disclosure Form (PDF)
  • Background Check Disclosure Form (PDF)
  • Interdepartmental Order Form (PDF)

Make changes to my controlled substances use authorization?

The Principal Investigator (PI) must use the Controlled Substances Program Project Registration Update Form for changes in personnel, location of storage, or addition of new chemicals. Forms that have been completed, dated and signed must be forwarded to EH&S:

Note: Some applications or updates will require additional information. You will be contacted after your initial submission if this information is necessary.

Order and purchase controlled substances?

The Principal Investigator (PI) must already have obtained a Controlled Substances Use Authorization (CSUA) for Research. If this step has not already been completed, please refer to How do I Get Authorization to Use Controlled Substances in my Research? and contact with any questions. 

  • Contact OLAC if the controlled substances are used under the ACUC approved protocol.
  • Use BearBuy to order controlled substances used in other research.

Note: Verification of the end user authorization is included in the purchasing process.

The requestor will be notified once the controlled substances will be delivered to the campus.

Dispose of controlled substances?

To request pick up of the unwanted controlled substances complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the return forms for controlled substances. Include all required information. Do not sign the return forms. Forms must be signed at the time of EH&S pick-up to document the chain of custody and transfer of compound's ownership from the lab to EH&S.
    • Schedule II (PDF)
    • Schedule III-V (PDF)
  2. Send the completed forms to
  3. EH&S Hazardous Materials Management Team will then contact the requestor to schedule the pick-up time.
  4. Disposal documents, signed and dated at the EH&S pick-up, must be kept together with the controlled substances log books.


Controlled Substances Management (Campus) Policy

Everyone who handles controlled substances in the course of research or instruction at the University of California, Berkeley must follow the procedures outlined in this policy to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the campuss institutional Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration. 

See: Controlled Substances Management (Campus) Policy

California Department of Justice (DOJ) List of Precursor Chemicals

See: California Department of Justice (DOJ) List of Precursor Chemicals - Health and Safety Code, Uniform Controlled Substances, Regulation and Control

Precursor (Restricted) Chemicals

Precursor chemicals and List I Chemicals are chemicals that have legitimate uses and also have the potential to be used in the manufacture of controlled substances. State and federal laws require campus vendors to uphold stringent regulations regarding distribution of these chemicals.

Ordering Chemicals Designated as Precursors


  • The BearBuy cart must be reviewed and approved by the PI.
  • The BearBuy cart, approved by the PI, must be reviewed and approved by EH&S.


Must be processed by Controlled Substances Buyer at campus Supply Chain Management.


Requestor will be notified upon the delivery of your order to the UCB campus.

Time to receive List I and California precursor chemicals:

4-6 weeks. The State of California requires vendors to hold materials for 21 days after purchase. It is also possible that if the hazard class requires shipment by ground transportation additional time may be required to receive the shipment.


The notice of delivery will indicate where the item can be picked up.

Administrative controls:

Chemical must be added to the laboratory Chemical Inventory on the day of the receipt. Store listed chemicals according to their hazard type. List I and California precursor chemicals must be stored within a room that's under human surveillance or locked when not staffed.

Recordkeeping and Inventory

Controlled Substances:

  • All purchase records and logbooks for controlled substances must be maintained for at least 2 years and usage logs must be kept in your secure storage location with the controlled substances. 
  • A logbook for this purpose will be provided for each drug when you pick up your controlled substance order.  Contact EH&S if you need another copy. 
  • All withdrawals or usage must be clearly recorded in the logbook. 
  • The balance should always represent the amount on hand in your storage location. 
  • Do not forget to log in bottles as soon as they are received, preferably with a specific item number that may be matched to the stock in your lab, e.g. using a Sharpie pen.
  • For creating dilutions of controlled substances: print and use Controlled Substance Diluted Solution Usage Log for record keeping

Campus-wide Inventory:

Every two years EH&S inspectors will visit and document the amount of controlled substance on hand in every storage location approved on campus in a single day.  Your lab will be notified in advance of the need to have someone present to unlock your storage location for this inspection. 

Precursor Chemicals:

Logbooks are not required at this time for usage of precursor chemicals but the items should be documented in your laboratory’s chemical inventory along with other chemicals on hand and updated at least annually.

Storage and Security

Note: Notify EH&S immediately of any missing controlled substances: (510) 642-3073.

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for providing and maintaining secure storage for their CS inventory that meets these criteria:

Store CS according to schedule number:

Schedule II: Store in a safe or steel cabinet equivalent.

Schedule III-V: Store in a locked drawer or cabinet that is inaccessible from above or below.

Install the following equipment according to these standards:

  • Padlocks and hinges:
    • Must have the mounting screws or bolts of the hasp inaccessible when the door is closed and the lock is fastened.
  • Safes and steel cabinet equivalents:
    • Must be cemented or bolted to the floor or wall, or weigh more than 750 pounds.
  • Keys and codes:
    • Must not be readily accessible in a nearby drawer or desk.
    • Must only be issued and carried by individual authorized researchers or staff. 
  • Storage units:
    • Must be secure enough to show forced entry.
  • Drawers:
    • Must be inaccessible from the upper or lower drawers in the stack. Assign the top drawer of the stack, if possible.

Other Restrictions:

  • Do not share CS storage facilities.
  • Do not transfer CS from its original container for storage purposes.
  • Do not store other chemicals or supplies in a CS storage unit (only your logbook or other cs records are allowed).
  • Do not store CS in a corridor.
  • Lockboxes or toolboxes that could easily be lifted and taken out of a laboratory are not acceptable.

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) List of Controlled Substances

Visit the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) List of Controlled Substances web page to learn more about Controlled Substance Schedules.

EH&S Contact