I'm banned from taking my meds to Amsterdam??


So I impulse bought a trip to Amsterdam for next weekend without really thinking. I’m excited, but I found out yesterday that it’s illegal to take my stimulant meds to the Netherlands. I’d have to get a prescription and get it there, which considering how little time I’ve given myself to prep for this trip and the fact I’m only there for a weekend, I’m not gonna do.

I’ve contacted the embassy for advice and also sent a rush email to my consultant asking if he could prescribe me some non-stimulants for my trip, but it’s looking likely that I’ll have to cope without them. I never even considered that it’d be an issue!

What other countries can’t you take your meds to? Have any of you been screwed over by this?


Strange. When I asked my doctor about taking Ritalin abroad, I was told it is Ok as long as I keep them in the package with prescription label (or whatever it is called) with name of doctor etc. Don’t know about Amsterdam though


Sorry to see this so late.

Stimulant medication (dexamphetamine and methylfenidaat/ritalin) comes under international drug laws (this is called the opium law/opiumwet in Dutch).

This means you have to have a certificate signed by your doctor, listing the current dosage, in order to take your meds abriad. They also have to be in the original packaging.

I thought initially I just couldn’t take the meds to the US, but it turned out it was even, technically, breaking the law to take them to a campsite in Belgium, less than 10 miles over the Dutch border. So I got a certificate to take them to Italy by car, but of course nobody asked for or saw the certificate because there are no border controls any more. Also, they only put Italy on the certificate because that was my final destination, but considering the Germans have a reputation for sticking to the rules, I was a bit worried about that! Especially since we spent 3 nights in Germany en route.

If you’re not flying/going by train, it’s less of an issue. But I guess you flew, as it was just a weekend? How was your trip? And how was the break from your meds?

(I wasn’t home last weekend so I couldn’t have helped even if i had seen this earlier).

Also, non-stimulants tend to need building up over time, so taking them for a weekend would probably be pointless.


I was alright without them, just took it easy. I spoke to the embassy who in the end told me I need a Schengen declaration which could take up to 4 weeks to come through, which I didn’t have. My consultant offered to write me a letter but the embassy said that wouldn’t be enough and I’d need a Schengen certificate specifically. (Tbh the embassy weren’t very helpful… just kept sending me links to information sites which were in Dutch and didn’t answer my questions, I had to email several times before I got a straight answer). After going through security at the airport I know I could definitely have got away with taking them, but I didn’t want to risk getting found out and ruining my weekend. I managed alright without them thankfully but I would have preferred to have them.

I guess next time I’ll check much further in advance!


I think it’s banned in Japan too


Yeah, i think this is one of the very few examples of international cooperation that gets close to really being worldwide!

Goes back more than a hundred years:

International Opium Convention of 1912, at which, contrary to what it sounds like, no opium was consumed (probably).