Tips for Traveling with Medication This Holiday Season

 ADHD Weekly 2016-11-17

Do you need to bring your ADHD medication with you while traveling this holiday season? It’s important when carrying your ADHD medication, or your child’s medication, with you to take extra precautions.

Stimulant medication, the most commonly prescribed medication for ADHD, is classified by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration as a Schedule II controlled substance, making it subject to tighter regulation and laws. Additionally, some individuals may try to steal unattended prescription medications. Keeping tight control of ADHD medications helps to ensure you are able to continue your treatment plan while traveling.

How can you keep your medications safe? Here are some tips to keep in mind traveling domestically:

  • Keep all prescriptions medications, especially those prescribed for ADHD, in the original bottles from the pharmacy, identifying the person for whom the medication has been prescribed. If your prescription came in bottles that are too big to easily carry, ask your pharmacist for an extra labeled bottle to carry smaller amounts of medication with you. In some states, you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if the medication is not in its original prescription bottle with your name or your child’s name on it.
  • Check your medication supply, or your child’s, well in advance to make sure you have enough for the whole trip. If you need to have a prescription refilled while away, discuss options with your prescriber. You may need to find a pharmacy in advance where you’ll be visiting to have medications refilled and make sure that they can accept an out-of-state prescription.
  • Consider carrying a copy of your most recent prescription from your physician.
  • Keep your medication with you in your carry-on rather than checked bags to prevent theft or losing your medication if your bags are misplaced.
  • At your destination, keep your medications secured in your room. This may mean locking them in a hotel safe or placing them high above a child’s reach and out of sight when visiting family.
  • Don’t discuss your medications with anyone who does not need to know in order to lessen someone else’s temptation to take your medication. When staying with friends or family, your host may need to know in order to help your secure your medications.

Before traveling internationally, research local laws regarding stimulant medications. Stimulants medications are illegal in some countries and you can be arrested for having them in your possession. For example, Adderall and Ritalin are both illegal in Japan. Verify the country laws and rules around carrying stimulants before you go. You may need to discuss making changes to your treatment plan with your doctor before you travel internationally.

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