I am on the ADHD drug "Vyvanse" which is a schedule II controlled substance. It's pretty essential for me to take it, and especially on this business trip. Unfortunately, I really want to keep this confidential and don't want my father to know anything about it. He has no idea I am on medication and I'd be dead if he caught wind.

How can I approach this at customs? I only need 3 capsules, and if needed, I could shrink that to only 2. I just really don't want to involve my father and if he hears ANYTHING about it, I will be disowned.

Is there any way to declare this legally and inconspicuously? I don't want to be branded as a drug smuggler for taking my daily medication with me.

EDIT I'm 17 years old. The medication is somewhat essential for me to have. It's 100% legal and I have no issue disclosing to customs officers... I just don't want my father to hear anything about it. Because we are traveling together, our X-rays will pass through together and if they ask me any questions about the bag (or search it) I'm in big trouble.

I do have ADHD. My dad is opposed to treating it because he is stubborn and uneducated. But that's off-topic, just know that I have good intentions.

EDIT 2 border security asked nothing of it. They were all really young and I'm pretty sure they never even looked at th X-Ray....

  • 3
    "They were all really young and I'm pretty sure they never even looked at th X-Ray..." I'm pretty sure they looked. Presumably, they saw pills and didn't think that they were suspicious, since pills are a pretty normal thing for people to be carrying. They may be young but they will have been properly trained. Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 12:19
  • David Richerby, while it's basically the most suspicious thing you can do, I watched them as I went through security. Something else was going on and the X-ray guy got distracted. They didn't seem remotely as diligent as the first set of security was. I know this was a while ago now... I just wanted to clarify though.
    – Jordan
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 4:05
  • 1
    Note that most scans, which are actually done before a flight, are for security purposes only, and not customs. So they care about explosives and weapons, but they don't care about drugs, money, or anything like that. It is pretty rare to go through a scan at customs, except in some countries such as Australia (where it's mostly a quarantine rather than customs thing) or Indonesia (where I believe they are looking for drugs, but I couldn't say for sure).
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Is this a legally prescribed drug? (I am very familiar with Vyvanse.) If it is, make sure you transport the meds in the original container from the pharmacy showing your name, and the date of the prescription. Do not bring it in a baggie, hidden in your clothes, or anything like that. Customs officials have seen it all, and know every hiding place you can think of, and many that you can't.

If it's a prescribed medication, you have nothing to worry about. You should worry more about trying to deceive the customs officials than your father. They have no reason to be forgiving, but your father does.

Also, do not bring more capsules than you need for your trip. (Based on your question, this is unlikely, but it's worth mentioning.)

  • 1
    That's the plan. I'm going to just bring 3 capsules and make it clear that it's only 3. I'll keep them in the original bottle and hopefully it's all good. I'll also make sure that my dad brings his prescription so that there is a pill bottle in each bag :). I'll pray to god that they don't ask me about it, and if they do, I'll tell them whatever they need and deal with the personal consequences I guess.
    – Jordan
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 12:24

First, there is no requirement to declare medication for personal use when entering the United States. At least the question does not appear on any paper or electronic media. This is impractical for many reasons, the biggest being...

Second, people travel with prescription medications all the time. That in itself is in no way unusual. Because this is so routine...

Third, the likelihood of CBP flagging you and discovering the medication is vanishingly small provided you have no other reason for them to suspect you of anything.

Take the prescription bottle with you with enough tablets for the trip, just hide it from Father. This is for the extremely unlikely chance you get searched. If you do, just request a private examination.

You can also mix some tablets with other supplements in one of those daily tablet organizers to avoid revealing the bottle if Father is present. I've crossed innumerable borders with such without a problem. This is not a concealment.

  • 3
    Hiding pill that can be seen as illegal drug between others is asking for problems if checked. And all down votes are valid, with and without comment.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 9:08
  • 3
    I did completely read the answer before downvoting it. The issue is whether a potentially addictive medication in a tablet organizer with supplements could be mistaken for an attempt to conceal it. The OP could get out of trouble with officials by showing the prescription bottle, but in doing so would be more likely to bring it to the attention of the OP's father. On the other hand, the same pill in its prescription bottle would be so routine that there would be little risk of any discussion. Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 16:51
  • @PatriciaShanahan Nope, sorry. This is why travelers need to carry the original bottle as I state very clearly. A tablet organizer is not a concealment any more than a toiletry bag would be. Great example of a wrong and misleading Downvote.
    – DTRT
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:32
  • @Johns-305, I did read the answer, I did comment on it to show you why you likely had several down votes and you are still putting chat in your answer. For now I am not re-editing as someone asked a meta Q about it, but I have asked the other mods to have a look.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 19:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .