United Kingdom (Great Britain)

United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Methadone/Burprenorphine Treatment: available

Foreign patients can receive methadone or buprenorphine treatment at special clinics, drug services and by general practitioners (GPs). They must carry with them a letter from their home prescriber stating identification and treatment details. As any prescription is a matter for the clinical judgement of a clinic doctor or GP and as there are waiting lists we strongly advise the patient’s home prescriber to get in touch with a methadone/buprenorphine prescriber in the UK well in advance of the patient’s journey to make arrangements (take home medication is possible). Moreover, whether visitors to the UK are able to obtain prescribed drugs depends on the person’s status. If the patient is going to the UK in order to take up permanent residence, then entitlement to the benefits and services of the National Health Service exists on the same basis as any other UK citizen, i.e. largely free at point of use. If someone comes to the UK as a visitor, then they are only entitled to free NHS treatment for emergency conditions that arise during their stay. Pre-existing conditions are not normally included in this, unless a serious exacerbation occurs, e.g. heart attack as a result of a pre-existing condition. Routine, non-emergency medication is usually prescribed privately by a General Practitioner who will also make a charge for the consultation. Information on drug services in the UK is available via several internet ressources. In the event of problems with finding an appropriate clinic or GP the Alliance can be of assistance.

Importation of Methadone/Buprenorphine: possible

Since 01 January 2008 travellers bringing methadone or other opioids into the UK for personal use no longer require a personal import licence, provided the period of stay will not exceed 3 months and the medication is carried in hand luggage in original packaging together with a letter from the prescribing doctor confirming the patient’s name, destination, travel dates and drug details/amounts (for full info click www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs).


Contact Addresses:

Contact details of methadone or buprenorphine prescribing doctors/clinics/services are welcome!

The Alliance
Phone: +44 (0)20 7299 4304

Wales Drug and
Alcohol Helpline
Phone: +44 (0)1978 366 206

Web Ressources (advisory
and treatment services):



UK Drug Rehab


Scottish Drug Services Directory


DrugScope Helpfinder


Welsh Assembly Government (Zugriff über “Locations”)

Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Northern Ireland:

Drugsalcohol.info Website


Drug Action
Teams in Großbritannien: Drug Action Team Contacts

Methadone Assistance Point

Any comments and additional information
(including contact details of methadone prescribing clinics/GPs)

greatly appreciated.

Please address all correspondence to:

Ralf Gerlach
Bremer Platz 18-20
D-48155 Münster
Phone: +49 251-60123 or +49 2571-582765
Fax: +49 251-666580

(This page last revised
August 18, 2009)