Methadone: Travel Regulations United States of America

United States of America*

Methadone/Buprenorphine Treatment:

Most U.S. methadone clinics and buprenorphine prescribing physicians are listed on the internet
(morphine has not been approved for use in opioid substitution treatment):

Methadone treatment services: Opioid Treatment Program Directory

Buprenorphine prescribing physicians: Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator

The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) has developed useful
Guidelines for Guest Medication“.

Importation of medications used in opioid substitution treatments: possible

According to Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter II, Part 1301, § 1301.26, travellers are allowed to bring into the U.S. controlled substances listed in schedules II, III, IV, or V. Methadone, morphine and codeine are listed in Schedule II, buprenorphine is a schedule III substance. When entering the U.S. the medication must be declared at customs. The medication has to be carried in the original container in which it was dispensed. We strongly advise travellers to carry with them a letter (in English) from their prescribing physician/clinic confirmed by the local health authority responsible for such matters at the place of the physician’s office/clinic.

Travellers not needing a visa have to apply for an entry permit by filling in an online form called ESTA (Please note: there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, citizens of Canada who are traveling with a Canadian passport do not need an ESTA. So check with your travel agent if you need an ESTA or not). Take care when filling in this application form: Patients in opioid substitution treatments may be considered to be drug users and applications for entry into the U.S. may be turned down!

Any comments and additional information greatly appreciated.
Please address all correspondence to:

Ralf Gerlach
Bremer Platz 18-20
48155 Münster
Phone: +49 2571-582765 or +49 251-60123 (please note the different codes)
Fax: +49 251-666580

*No responsibility is accepted for the correctness of this information.

(This page last revised and updated May 21, 2023)