- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
So I wondered if any bees might be able to answer some questions. I take a drug called modafinil on prescription for a condition called idiopathic hypersomnia (a sleep disorder similar to narcolepsy). I live in England but will be honeymooning in Vegas, Hawaii and San Fran in September. Modafinil is a Schedule IV controlled drug in the US and I want to ensure I tick every box to bring it in correctly. Some people have said “Oh won’t it be fine if you just carry a prescription?” Well no, it won’t, I need to declare it and I don’t want to risk being arrested on my honeymoon! (Have nightmares where this happens.)
I’ve had a LOT of trouble getting advice in the UK, from embassies, etc. Called the American Drug Enforcement Agency who gave me some good info (I need to carry a doctor’s letter and declare it at customs) but am still a bit confused and worried so I thought I’d throw it out here on the offchance anyone can help. I am very grateful for any advice.
– The DEA told me to carry the pills in a bottle. I asked if they meant “the usual packaging it comes in” or “it has to be a bottle” and they just kept saying to carry it in a bottle. I can’t. My pharmacist tells me it’s illegal for them to supply it in anything other than the box it comes in. Are prescriptions normally supplied in bottles in the USA, might that explain her insistence? I’m thinking I need to leave it in the original packaging, so should I be asking my doctor to specifically explain in her letter that it has to be supplied that way?
– The DEA also said it won’t be covered by the customs form so I have to inform officials that I need to make a verbal declaration. I don’t travel much but I seem to recall you go to one queue if you have nothing to declare and another if you have something to declare. I will have something to declare, my new husband won’t, but I really don’t want to get separated from him. Would he be allowed to come with me or do we need to go through the separate queues?
– Will I need to make a declaration when we travel within the US (Vegas-Hawaii and Hawaii-San Fran) or just when going into the country in the first place?
– Does anyone have any other advice for ensuring things go smoothly with the border officials?
I have been taking this medication since 2008. I haven’t been abroad since 2005, so I haven’t had to worry about it yet. It’s really freaking me out, I’m really worried I’ll do something wrong and end up getting arrested, however silly that may sound. Any/all advice would be very much appreciated.