Just Say "Nein"

A traveler's guide to how to approach drugs, prostitution, and other illicit pursuits that are as illegal in most of Europe as they are back home

An addict in a doorway in Bolgona, Italy
I don't know about you, but it sure doesn't look to me as if this junkie, huddled in a doorway, is truly enjoying the time he's spending here in Bolgona, Italy.

Sorry if this page seems like a let-down, but it is not about where to find drugs or prostitutes in Europe. If it were, I could just type the word "Amsterdam" and be done with it.

No, I'm here to warn you that drugs and prostitution are illegal just about everywhere (and very strictly controlled even in Amsterdam, where they aren't—though soon might be).

It’s just not a good idea to mess around with either in the first place. I'm not making moral judgments, here, I'm just thinking about AIDS and some serious jail time in countries where they don't enjoy the same protections offered by the Constitution and our nation's relatively warm and fuzzy legal and incarceration systems.

If you do get arrested, especially for carrying drugs (and especially if you do so across national borders), there’s little the local U.S. consulate can do (or even wants to do) other than provide you with a list of local lawyers who speak English.

The best your family or lawyer from back home can do is visit you in prison and maybe send you a care package every once in a while.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in March 2012.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.