CSRS – Overview

Established by State law, the CSRS is a prescription monitoring system that allows registered dispensers and practitioners to review a patient’s controlled substances prescription history on the web.  It is intended to assist practitioners in monitoring, identifying and referring patients for specialized substance abuse treatment or specialized pain management.

All prescriptions for controlled substances, schedule II through V, dispensed in North Carolina are reported into the CSRS database.  Pharmacies transmit the data every 72 hours.  Prescribers and pharmacists register and are then granted a password to access the system online to look up a patient’s controlled substances prescription history.  Information in the system dates back 5 years.  Prescribers and dispensers may legally query the system for their patients only. A registered user may now assign a delegate within the office to become a registered user and run CSRS reports. The directions for creating a delegate account can be found on the CSRS-Resources Page.

A pharmacist having concerns should contact the practitioner as a part of his decision whether to dispense the prescription. A practitioner with concerns should sit down with the patient and discuss the findings.  He/she may suggest a referral to a substance abuse program or a pain specialist.  Recent changes to the original legislation (August 2009) enable prescribers and dispensers to consult with other prescribers and dispensers identified on the CSRS.  Behavioral health specialists need to continue to follow other applicable patient confidentiality laws regarding obtaining patient consent.


A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.