Most of us know that taking drugs abroad is a bad idea but it’s not just controlled substances you have to worry about. While many would not even consider taking the risks of taking drugs abroad. It can be easy to get caught out carrying items that are controlled substances in certain countries, but not in others. It’s important to know the legislation of the countries you plan to visit, and to be aware of what you’re packing in your suitcase. Items that might be legal in your own country, might come under vastly different laws in the place you are visiting.

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s worth the risk of trying to take drugs abroad with you, you first need to understand the sentencing guidelines both for the country that you’re travelling from and the country that you’re flying to as these can differ drastically. We’ll examine the types of drugs that people try to travel with – and the possible consequences of doing so.  

Risks of Travelling with Class B drugs

Drugs such as cannabis and speed are categorised as Class B. This makes many people feel that they are essentially ‘harmless’. But don’t be fooled into thinking there are no significant risks involved with travelling with these. While this may be true to an extent, for example, if you travel from the UK to Amsterdam with cannabis. If you are caught in the UK, the drugs will be seized and you may not be permitted to travel. If, however, you successfully manage to land in Amsterdam with your drugs. There will be no significant consequences as the use of cannabis is legal there. 

However, if you are travelling to Dubai with cannabis, the situation is vastly different. In the United Arab Emirates, cannabis use is strictly forbidden and, if you’re caught trying to bring these drugs into the Emirates, you will almost certainly face jail time and a large fine. 

Risks of Travelling with Class A drugs

Due to their potency and harmful effects, drugs like cocaine and heroin are categorised as Class A. It is illegal to possess, distribute or travel with these. If you travel to a European country, for example, France and get caught with Class A drugs, you can expect a fine of around 3750 Euros.  

In many cases, you could expect not just a fine but a jail sentence of up to a year in countries such as France, but this varies. If you’re caught with Class A drugs in Bahrain, you can expect a significant amount of jail time and, in extreme cases, the death sentence. 

Man sitting in airport with feet resting on suitcase watching the plane fly off into the sunlight

Going Abroad With Non-Classification Drugs

While it’s good common sense not to attempt to travel with Class A and B drugs. These aren’t the only substances that can cause you problems abroad. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the other medicines to avoid travelling with:

Risks of Travelling with Chinese Herbal Medicines 

Depending on the ingredients, you may not be able to bring these medicines into another country. For example, if you try to enter Australia with a TCM medication which contains extracts of endangered species of animals. This will be confiscated at customs and you may also face a fine of around $2000. In this case, the risks of taking drugs abroad with you could cause a lot of problems.

Taking Hormone Replacement Medication on Holiday

Many women across the world rely on these medications in order to control the symptoms of the menopause. However, these are not permitted within UAE countries such as Dubai or Qatar. 

As well as these medications being confiscated, you may also be subject to a fine for trying to bring them into the country. This could apply if you have not followed the correct procedures and brought with you the necessary documentation. 

Packing Anabolic Steroids In Your Suitcase

Commonly used to enhance athletic performance, anabolic steroids are banned in many countries around the world unless you have a license. If you use these drugs, always check the risks of taking drugs abroad before travelling to avoid problems. 

Risks of Taking Prescription Drugs on a Trip

If you use medication which has been prescribed to you by a doctor. It is important that you are able to take this with you when you travel. In most cases, this is not a problem, with the exception of some CBD products. 

You should always make sure that you have a note or other evidence of the prescription drugs from your doctor. This should clearly state that your health relies on this medication as this will make things much easier when entering another country. 

Herbal remedies and non classified drugs - risks of travelling abroad with drugs

Travel Safe: Risks of Taking Drugs Abroad

While most people would never consider travelling with illegal drugs, not everybody feels the same way. There are, unfortunately, those who attempt to use other people to try to get their drugs across borders. Always pack your own bag when travelling. Keep it with you at all times when travelling through an airport to avoid falling victim to drug couriers. Whether the drugs are yours or not, you may face a fine or prison term if they are found on you or in your luggage.

Illegal drugs cause misery for millions of people across the world every year. Governments are constantly working hard to prevent drugs being brought across borders. Many people make the mistake of believing that travelling with Class B drugs such as cannabis will result in no more than a slap on the wrist. However, this is very much not the case in some countries where doing such a thing will result in your spending time in a prison cell or worse. Before travelling to any country, familiarise yourself with all of the rules and regulations to avoid coming unstuck when you land. The idea is simple, if in doubt, leave it behind!

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained law or medical professional. Be sure to consult a law or medical professional if you’re seeking advice about taking drugs/medication abroad. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.