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BA First Class FA gave me a wrapped Paracetamol/Codeine tablet during a flight

BA First Class FA gave me a wrapped Paracetamol/Codeine tablet during a flight

Old Dec 2, 17, 8:41 pm
  #1  
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BA First Class FA gave me a Codeine tablet during a flight

On a recent BA flight in F, a very lovely FA noticed my Champagne consumption and handed me a wrapped Codeine tablet with Paracetamol.

She said it would help me to avoid a hangover. I slipped it into my pocket and forgot about it.

The following month, I was stopped by U.S. customs and thoroughly searched.

I had thrown the tablet away weeks before – but if customs would have found it I don't know how I would have responded. In the USA. Codeine is a Schedule III narcotic – in the same class as Vicodin (hydrocodone)

If you are caught possessing even one pill without a doctor's prescription, the penalties are up to one year in jail and six months suspension of your driver's license. There is a zero-tolerance policy.

People are arrested at U.S. borders all the time for minor infractions. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A friend of mine was searched at LAX and arrested for having 4 tablets of Tylenol 3 with codeine. He lost a high-level security clearance and was fired from his consulting job.

Would I have told customs agents how I obtained the drugs – potentially ruining the FA's life?

Or would I have protected her – possibly ruining my own life.

I still don't know the answer to this question...

Last edited by macabus; Dec 3, 17 at 7:36 am
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Old Dec 2, 17, 8:52 pm
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A single codeine based pain killer in its original packaging would not ruin either of your lives.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 8:53 pm
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I don't accept medication from virtual strangers, plus codeine makes me sick... This looks like Tylenol with Codeine which is not illegal. It's sold over the counter in Canada and, I assume, the UK. Tell them your Dr. gave it to you for whatever appropriate condition.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by macabus View Post

What would you do?
I would not be concerned in the slightest about anyone questioning me about something in my possession that was perfectly legal. However, unless I had an immediate need for pain relief I probably wouldn't accept anything from anyone.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 10:22 pm
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Should the word “drugs” be changed to “OTC pain relief” in the thread title?

The current thread title will “confuse” all kinds of automated search algorithms....
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Old Dec 2, 17, 10:36 pm
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That's really nice of the FA. I would certainly have been appreciative
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Dambus View Post
Should the word “drugs” be changed to “OTC pain relief” in the thread title?

The current thread title will “confuse” all kinds of automated search algorithms....
In the US, at least, it is definitely not OTC.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:20 pm
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Even if it had been unwrapped, 1 small pill, IF they even noticed...you could probably just say "oh I must've dropped an advil/tylenol/allergy med in there at some point" and just tossed it and that'd suffice.

I remember flying back from Europe with my buddies when we were much younger, we found a leftover hit of ecstasy from our Ibiza trip in a pocket and had the same "oh s***" feeling, tossed it, no harm no foul.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:20 pm
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I'm struggling to see the relevance of this post as a) its a legal drug and b) you threw it away anyway so as previously stated I would change the title of the thread to something less "dramatic".
Two non-events do not an event make...
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Mauibaby2008 View Post
In the US, at least, it is definitely not OTC.
Paracetamol is, you call it Tylenol.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by macabus View Post
On a recent BA flight in F, a very lovely FA noticed my Champagne consumption and handed me a wrapped Paracetamol/Codeine tablet.

She said it would help me to avoid a hangover. I slipped it into my pocket and forgot about it.

The following month, I was stopped by U.S. customs and thoroughly searched.

I had thrown the tablet away weeks before – but if customs would have found it I don't know how I would have responded.

Would I have told them how I obtained the drugs – potentially ruining the FA's life?

Or would I have protected her – possibly ruining my own life.

I still don't know the answer to this question...

What would you do?
I think the champagne has gone to your head. Also another vote for a less excitable thread title.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by argonath View Post
I'm struggling to see the relevance of this post as a) its a legal drug and b) you threw it away anyway so as previously stated I would change the title of the thread to something less "dramatic".
Two non-events do not an event make...
I agree.

Too much imagined drama here.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:35 pm
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I think that the ban on OTC codeine is just an American thing. Paracetamol/ codeine tablets are reasonably common in the UK and in Canada Tylenol No .1 is available OTC.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:36 pm
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Paracetamol+Codeine tablets are legal, up to a certain strength of codeine, without prescription in many, but not all, countries. The most notable exception IME is the UAE, where codeine is not allowed in any form without prescription. There are tales of people being caught out by this when entering the UAE. I think the law in Australia is also due to change to require prescription and for the simplicity of never needing to check the law by country, I don't carry anything with codeine when travelling.

As for what the OP should have done in the hypothetical event of being found with the tablet, answer any question from customs truthfully.

Last edited by Oaxaca; Dec 2, 17 at 11:43 pm
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Old Dec 2, 17, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by macabus View Post
What would you do?
Short answer

Nothing. I deem it to be a non-event and forget it.

Long answer

1) Don't get so drunk/don't drink so much (even if I hadn't got so drink) that people think I need to be given meds to get over the hangover, or develop the constitution of an ox* that no-one would ever think I'd ever need any meds to get over the hangover as I appear as thought I'd never get such a thing

2) Stay sober enough to worry about the potential consequences if I would think it would be a concern had I been sober

3) Politely decline if I felt that it would be an issue as per 2)

4) Research the item had I chosen to accept it so that I have the accurate information so I do not have unwarranted concerns*

5) If it is not needed, throw it away and forget it within 3 minutes about anything inconsequential

*I have not conducted or seen any scientific research on how ox would react to excessive alcohol consumption and this is merely a figure of speech and not intended as some kind of a hyperbole

** As it happens I am already well aware that paracetamol with codeine is available OTC in many countries including the UK up to a certain strength but I would have politely declined it anyway as I am somewhat allergic to codeine...

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Dec 3, 17 at 12:20 am
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