Chronic pain is one of the leading reasons people seek medical care, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also indicates that up to 40 percent of the people in the U.S. population have received prescriptions for chronic pain. People may need prescription pain medication to enhance their quality of life and fulfill day-to-day tasks more effectively.
If you are traveling with pain medication, you will need thorough preparation. You will need to be well-versed on international regulations and the laws of the destination countries. If you need to travel with your pain prescriptions, it may also help to learn more about the medications you are carrying.
Research Before You Travel
Thorough preparation is critical, because the consequences of traveling with certain drugs can be severe. Authorities in other countries may confiscate your opioid drugs, which could mean that you cannot use the medications while you are in those countries. You could also potentially face charges of drug trafficking, and in some places, you could be imprisoned for possessing certain drugs, even if they are legal in your home country. You need to be in a position to explain what opioids you are carrying, what fentanyl is used for, and other aspects about drugs and drug use.
For example, people are allowed to bring small amounts of drugs or medications to several European countries if they are staying a month or less in those countries. People can bring enough of the drugs that they would use for personal reasons, but they may need special permission to carry more.
Given regulations about drugs, travelers should try to bring such drugs in their original packaging and prescription information and demonstrate that they are using the drugs for legitimate medical purposes. These suggestions may prevent people from encountering legal difficulties or having much-needed drugs taken from them.
Jurisdictions may have regulations that limit the type of medication you can carry. Some countries may allow you to have some types of medications for only thirty days. Some may limit the amount of medications you can possess. Check the regulations on your drugs. You may be required to apply for a license to possess your prescription drugs before you travel.
Many destinations have websites where you can apply for licenses for your medication. If you cannot find any information on your destination country's website, consider checking with the International Narcotics Controls Board. This organization provides information on the regulations of several countries. Also consider double-checking the information, because drug regulations are complex, vary from country to country, and seem to change all of the time.
Visit Your Doctor
It is also a good idea to visit your doctor before you travel. Your doctor can provide information on opioid pain medications and other drugs, discuss what fentanyl is used for, explain how to use and transport your drugs safely, and talk about problems you may encounter with international regulations.
Your doctor can also provide information on how to receive medications while you are on trips that last for more than thirty days. You may need to plan for this, since many prescriptions and insurance companies only offer prescriptions for a month at a time and many countries allow you to possess a month's worth of medication at a time.
Consult with your doctor to determine if you will make any changes to your prescription medications during your vacation. Some drugs may require special storage such as refrigeration. Your physician may provide detailed information on how to access and store medication. Information from your physician may help you explain what fentanyl is used for and answer other questions related to your prescription.
Packing and Traveling with Your Medications
Properly pack your pain medications according to product requirements. Keep your prescriptions in their original packaging, if possible. Clearly label the packages with your name, your passport number, the drugs' names, the name of your physician, and other essential details.
Carry enough medications to last your entire trip. Consult with your doctor weeks before leaving to ensure you have the proper amount of medication. Remember to carry the medication in your carry-on luggage so you have access to them even if the rest of your luggage is lost. It is advisable to carry copies of your prescriptions and other important papers with you while you are traveling and leave other copies at home in case you lose them.
Staying at Your Destination
To ensure you receive the proper prescription medications and the proper amounts, try to obtain the medications before you leave. During your trip, if you run out of medications, require more medications, or need other medications, there are things you need to know.
It is critical to obtain your drugs from licensed pharmacies and chemists. In some areas, you may receive medication that has not been manufactured according to government standards. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has warned people about using counterfeit medications such as fentanyl. Counterfeit drugs may not contain the right amounts of the required chemical compounds or different ingredients entirely. Using them may cause severe complications, even overdoses or death.
Note that there is a difference between a medication license and a medication passport. A medication passport lists the drugs you are carrying when you travel. A medication passport will be useful if you are traveling and need drugs from a pharmacy in a different country. You may need a medication license may if you are entering certain countries with certain types or amounts of medication.
If you are having trouble obtaining medications in a foreign country, you can consult the U.S. embassy or consulate in that country. The U.S. embassy can provide information on certified pharmacists in that country and where to obtain the medication you need. Thorough research will ensure your trip is free of pain and stress. Do not let worries about medication keep you at home.