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Thread: Bringing US Medications Into Greece

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    Default Bringing US Medications Into Greece

    I did not think there would be an issue traveling with US prescribed medications while visiting Greece next month. I am getting conflicting information online. It does sound like Greece is a little tougher than other European countries with US controlled meds. I will have a small amount of prescribed benzos, Adderall, Ambien and Suboxone with me. Could I have any issues at the Athens airport customs? Should I bring everything in my carry on bag or put some meds in my checked suitcase?

    I was reading about a UK citizen that had big problems in Egypt with 290 Tramadol pills. They locked her up and felt she was trafficking what we in the US consider a lighter painkiller. I understand if I was traveling to the Middle East or Singapore there could be problems. I did not think traveling to Greece for a short vacation would be a problem bringing a small amount of the medications mentioned above.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladheart View Post
    I did not think there would be an issue traveling with US prescribed medications while visiting Greece next month. I am getting conflicting information online. It does sound like Greece is a little tougher than other European countries with US controlled meds. I will have a small amount of prescribed benzos, Adderall, Ambien and Suboxone with me. Could I have any issues at the Athens airport customs? Should I bring everything in my carry on bag or put some meds in my checked suitcase?

    I was reading about a UK citizen that had big problems in Egypt with 290 Tramadol pills. They locked her up and felt she was trafficking what we in the US consider a lighter painkiller. I understand if I was traveling to the Middle East or Singapore there could be problems. I did not think traveling to Greece for a short vacation would be a problem bringing a small amount of the medications mentioned above.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I went away before and i never even thought about my medication at the time that i brought with me. It was perks and it was on my carry on bag. Nothing happened at all. But call customs and find out what is needed. Probably a doctors letter saying you need this this medication. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladheart View Post
    I did not think there would be an issue traveling with US prescribed medications while visiting Greece next month. I am getting conflicting information online.
    According to this Greek travel website, https://www.greecetravel.com/mazarak.../medicine.html, the Athens police say there's no problem bringing a small amount of your medication through the airport. But "small" is in the eye of the beholder.

    It's been a few years since I've traveled abroad, but when I did my wife had prescriptions for multiple highly scheduled medications. To make customs inspections go as easy as possible, we did the following: 1) never take more than was needed for the duration of the trip plus a couple of days for emergencies; 2) keep all medication in the pharmacy container with the pharmacy label on it; 3) for any highly scheduled medication and any opioids (including tramadol and suboxone) take a letter from the prescribing physician stating that you are prescribed the medication.

    If you follow those rules you are unlikely to have a problem.
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    I was married to a Greek for 20 years and we traveled there several times. Its been quite a few years since I went but my children visit their father every year or so. The most consistent thing one can say about the Greeks is their inconsistency. What's true today may not be true tomorrow or they may be on strike again.. If its in a medication bottle and labeled correctly and not illegal, there will be no problem. My adult son goes back and forth with Klonopin and Ritalin with no problem. But just to make sure I am accurate I will get on the phone and check with them in a few hours and update this post.

    I do know they frown on heroin but for 10 k one can buy their way out of jail.
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    An update to the post above. It is as I stated above. You could probably go through Greek customs with a pocket full of pills with no trouble but then again just to be safe, make sure they are all labeled properly. In Greece medication is handed out mostly by pharmacists who have as much power as a doctor. You can go into a pharmacy and get an antibiotic or an inhaler with out seeing a doctor. It not quite OTC , you just tell the pharmacist what you need. And if he knows your mother in law is dying of liver cancer, they will send whatever she needs. The government stays out of the medication business unless its an illegal substance which doesn't actually come from a pharmacy. But you can't walk in as an American tourist and ask for a PK or anything we consider controlled. For customs politics play a bigger part there than they do here if that means anything. I hope that helps.

    If you are going as a tourist, do not miss a visit to Delphi. Its a real experience.
    Last edited by LeeAnn; 05-20-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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    @LeeAnn

    That “ for 10k you can buy yourself out of jail” was HYSTERICAL!

    For the thread-starter, ALWAYS- ALWAYS - ALWAYS check with the Embassy of the Country you are visiting before taking ANY LEGAL RX through customs. There are more than a few Asian Countries ( and likely others ) where trying to bring a few Percocet in the original RX BOTTLE with a Physician’s Note and $5.00, will buy you a cup of coffee to drink while you sit in jail. This is not an uncommon situation for Westerners visiting Japan or Singapore. Check with the Embassy first!
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    I appreciate everyone’s advice. I got a letter from my MD that prescribes me the ADD med and benzos. I stopped by my other doctor to say hello and get another letter. He’s from Serbia and burst out laughing when I asked him for a letter. Unless you a going to Singapore or the Middle East no letter is needed. Just put all your meds in your carry on bag and walk through customs and don’t declare anything.

    He was more than correct. I had a very minor passport control stop at the Frankfort airport. I could have had a pound of coke in my backpack and nobody would have been the wiser. No passport control at the Athens airport. I was already in the EU and nobody cared at all. All my meds had US scripts. I’m not gonna lie I did have some extra Serbian Xanax in my bag.

    I apologize for my silly question and this silly thread. I do appreciate everyone and especially @LeeAnn funny advice. I may even pop in a pharmacy or two and see what they have for this American with a bad ankle and anxiety. Have a good week. I will for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladheart View Post
    I appreciate everyone’s advice. I got a letter from my MD that prescribes me the ADD med and benzos. I stopped by my other doctor to say hello and get another letter. He’s from Serbia and burst out laughing when I asked him for a letter. Unless you a going to Singapore or the Middle East no letter is needed. Just put all your meds in your carry on bag and walk through customs and don’t declare anything.

    He was more than correct. I had a very minor passport control stop at the Frankfort airport. I could have had a pound of coke in my backpack and nobody would have been the wiser. No passport control at the Athens airport. I was already in the EU and nobody cared at all. All my meds had US scripts. I’m not gonna lie I did have some extra Serbian Xanax in my bag.

    I apologize for my silly question and this silly thread. I do appreciate everyone and especially @LeeAnn funny advice. I may even pop in a pharmacy or two and see what they have for this American with a bad ankle and anxiety. Have a good week. I will for sure.
    I’ve flown with my prescription bottle in my pocket full of pills and never once has anyone ever asked to see inside the bottle. Come to think of it, they’ve never even taken a few seconds to read the bottle. I could just have easily had someone else’s pill bottle, and no one would have known. The only time it was even brought up is when I myself was holding the bottle and said “My doctor told me to carry this bottle and present it.” The TSA agent simply asked me “Is it liquid?” I said no, and that was that.

    I’m under the impression that they have bigger fish to fry. It reminds me of when my math teacher in college kept getting angry because I smelled like weed. He kicked me out of class, but that still wasn’t enough for him. He went and ratted me out to school security. But the funniest part was that they didn’t bat an eye, because they don’t care. They’re not worried about a student carrying weed, they are more worried about life and death situations. After a few more times he stopped kicking me out of class and told me to “get a glass jar.” I wasn’t trying to make a scene, marijuana truly helps me focus. Anyway I have stopped smoking in the meantime so the point is moot.

    The next time I travel I plan on mailing myself a letter to arrive at the hotel before I do. All the hotels I’ve asked about this don’t seem to have any problem with that. I’ve also thought of using the method of putting my smaller vitamins or others into larger capsules, similar to what I’ve had at least one vendor do.

    You mentioned the ksalols, I wonder how many airport workers would be able to recognize those. My guess would be not many. It would be so awesome if we all could find a vitamin or supplement that are similar if not identical to those. I’m always on the lookout!
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    @Pothead

    I had read online that Greece was the tightest EU Country for Painkillers, ADD meds, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. It was no big deal at all. Don’t believe everything you read online. LOL! I thought with Serbia only a 10 hour drive from Athens or a short plane flight that customs would be fairly familiar with people bringing large amounts of Ksalols into to Greece to sell.

    The country is very laid back. You can drink alcohol on the streets and the police zip around on motorcycles helping with car accidents and looking for serious criminals. People are very friendly and control their drinking. If you are caught driving drunk it is a very big deal. The BAC limit is much lower than the US. You also automatically lose your driving license for a year or more for a first time DUI. The fines are also huge.

    It has been an enjoyable visit so far. I highly recommend it for a vacation.
    Last edited by Gladheart; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:22 PM.
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