If you've ever watched the movie Midnight Express then you've probably developed phobias around possibly trafficking drugs on an airplane in or out of a foreign country. You probably also have a healthy suspicion of Turkish prisons and an affinity for wall coat hangers: if you've seen the movie then you'll know the deal.
All joking aside you don't really need to delve that far back in history or make references to films based on true stories to know about the potential dangers of smuggling banned substances into a country. That's something Brittney Griner and the American people learned the hard way.
So it's understandable that folks would be a little freaked out when it comes to getting potentially caught with illegal drugs on their travels. Something that a TikToker by the name of Dani (@gohomedani) experienced first hand and shared with TikTokers everywhere.
In a now viral clip that's amassed over 438,000 likes and 1,300 shares (as of this writing), she discusses the time she felt the need to dump her adderall pills into the airplane toilet and flushing them before landing in Japan.
She writes in a text overlay of the 14-second clip, explaining her decision to part ways with the pricey medication: "thinking about that time I was 20 minutes away from landing in Japan and the person next to me told me addera1l is illegal there and you can go to jail for having 1 capsule"
In a caption for the TikTok, Dani wrote: "Making difficult decisions in this economy and under these shortage conditions"
But was the person Dani was sitting next to on the flight telling the truth? Well, according to published guidelines from the Associated Kyoto Program, yes, it is.
In fact, all medications that contain any types of stimulants in Japan are illegal, including any typed of meds for ADHD. The resource states: "all medications containing stimulants are prohibited. This includes Adderall, a standard medication used to treat ADHD symptoms in the US. If you bring these drugs into Japan for any reason, you risk arrest and imprisonment."
And it's not just a law that is rarely acted upon, either. In 2015, then 26-year-old Carrie Russell traveled to Japan to teach English. Russell has a prescription for Adderall and when authorities discovered she was using a medication that contains amphetamines, they dropped the hammer on her.
Russell was detained in the country for 18 days and was unaware of efforts back home from her family and local politicians who worked for her release.
Russell didn't speak ill of her time in the Japanese detention center stating that she wasn't held in solitary confinement and performed a variety of chores. Upon her release she said, "In spite of this I love Japan," and added that she wanted to visit the country again some day.
TikTokers who saw the post said that they were aware of this law, while others urged Dani to do research before traveling to a new country instead of simply listening to a "random" passenger on an airplane.
What do you think of Japan's adderall laws?