Aviation professionals face special career stress that often drives them to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. As their substance abuse gets worse, they compromise their safety as well as the airline passengers for whom they’re responsible. This results in disciplinary action and a subsequent decline in quality of life and overall health. The stress associated with a career in aviation has prompted airlines to form an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help employees cope and, if necessary, receive quality addiction treatment.
Behavioral Health of the Beaches’ Aviators Treatment Program
Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches has developed a specialized treatment program that addresses the complex addiction care needs of pilots and other aviation professionals. The program is 100 percent HIMS-compliant and meets all current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) protocols and requirements. It is designed to administer quality drug and alcohol abuse treatment to aviation professionals and responsibly facilitate their return to work.
Comprehensive Clinical Treatment for Professional Aviators
The program was created with the assistance of Dr. Joseph R. Tordella, HIMS Aviation Medical Examiner (AME), a leader in aerospace medicine with over 30 years of experience. Dr. Tordella also heads the program as our Aviation Medicine Consultant. Participants undergo three stages of care while in the program (detox, rehab and aftercare) and are treated in a time frame that is compliant with FAA medical standards. Like all of our programs, patients begin by receiving a full physical evaluation and in-depth psychological assessment.
We then offer a personalized rehab plan that incorporates one or more of the following therapies:
- Trauma treatment through the use of EMDR and individual counseling
- Chronic pain treatment
- Anxiety and depression management
- Grief/loss counseling, a process which guides patients through each stage of the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance
- Anger management
We also provide regular contact with referral sources including the EAP and provide completion of all necessary documentation and paperwork as required by the patients’ employers and the FAA. The program includes a weekly support group which is led by a professional with over 15 years of experience in the aviation industry and is centered on issues specific to aviation professionals.
Aftercare and Transitional Assistance
Once patients have successfully completed their residential treatment, they are transferred to aftercare which they complete via an outpatient program. The length of aftercare is based on the long-term care needs of the patient which are established during their initial evaluation. The professional aviator treatment program has been helping pilots overcome their substance abuse and resume distinguished careers for over ten years.
Please call us anytime day or night, 24/7 TOLL-FREE at (888) 432-2467 for more information on our aviation treatment program.
Infographic: Flying High
This infographic pulls data and information from studies by the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Forbes Magazine to make the argument that aviation professionals are at high risk for developing substance abuse issues. According to this infographic, pilots have the fourth most stressful job and nearly half of pilot deaths in plane accidents involved drugs or alcohol. The data presented for flight attendants is similarly disturbing; they have much higher rates of suicide and alcoholism-related deaths than the general population due to the unique stresses of their working conditions. This infographic also points to progress made in the treatment of aviation employees for substance abuse and addiction, including a drug and alcohol testing program that has been in place since 1991.
- 2012 Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine study
- Forbes, The Most Stressful Jobs of 2013
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study