About Prescription Stimulants (Ritalin)

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Wondering what the laws are around using prescription stimulants?

Prescription stimulants that are available in New Zealand are controlled under the Medicines Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act. Dexamphetamine and methylphenidate are both ‘Class B Controlled Drugs’ under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Amphetamine is also a Class B Controlled Drug. This may be the main ingredient in counterfeit or imported prescription amphetamines. This means that it is illegal to use, buy, sell, make, import, or possess these drugs.

You are allowed to carry and use these medicines if they are prescribed to you by a doctor, and you are using them as stated in the prescription. If you have been prescribed these medicines overseas, you can usually bring in a 3-month supply of them, as long as you declare and prove they are prescribed to you. You can see more information on Medsafe’s website.  

You can also get in trouble with the law if you are found to be ‘impaired’ while driving, and a blood test finds evidence of prescription stimulants in your system.

To find out more about the law around legal and controlled drugs, see Drugs and the law.

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