Addiction Treatment Center in Orange County, California
Pilots and aviation professionals often work long hours, have high stress levels, and suffer from sleep deprivation caused by the jet lag they experience due to frequent time zone changes and little downtime between flights. These are all risk factors for substance abuse and addiction, as pilots may abuse stimulants to stay awake, use sedatives or opioids to fall asleep more easily, or drink alcohol to wind down and pass the time between flights.
Pilots, aviation professionals and those in the airline industry who want to get help for their substance use and co-occurring disorders can safely and privately do so at Dana Point Rehab Campus. Here’s more about drug and alcohol abuse, and what you can do if you’re a pilot who needs help fighting addiction.
What Is the Prevalence of Substance Abuse Among Pilots?
In 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a study to evaluate trends in drug use among pilots. Researchers analyzed toxicology tests from 6,677 pilots who died in a total of 6,597 aviation accidents between 1990 and 2012.
Findings from that study show:
- Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug involved in aviation accidents
- 3.8 percent of pilots tested positive for illicit drugs between 2008 and 2012, compared to 2.3 percent between 1990 and 1997
- 40 percent of pilots killed in noncommercial aviation accidents in 2011 had medication in their systems, up from 10 percent in 1990
- More than 20 percent of pilots tested positive for a potentially impairing drug between 2008 and 2012
- 6 percent of pilots tested positive for more than one potentially impairing drug between 2008 and 2012
- 8 percent of pilots tested positive for controlled substances between 2008 and 2012, with hydrocodone (an opioid) and diazepam (a benzodiazepine) each accounting for 20 percent of those findings
What Addiction Treatments Are Available for Pilots?
Pilots and aviation professionals who seek addiction treatment receive their own individualized treatment plans at Dana Point Rehab Campus. Unlike many other patients who can change their environments after rehab, aviation professionals must often return to their careers and the environments in which they started abusing drugs and alcohol in the first place. To overcome this challenge, pilots must receive specialized treatment that teaches them how to resume their careers and manage triggers like stress effectively without using substances.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), treatment settings and services must be matched to a patient’s unique needs to help that person return to productive functioning in the workplace after overcoming addiction. At drug rehab, pilots will receive detox, evidence-based behavioral therapies, and counseling that not only addresses the root causes of their substance use disorder but also teaches them the skills they need to resume their careers with a reduced risk of relapse. Detox, therapy, and counseling are available through an inpatient residential rehab program that allows aviation professionals to relax and focus on recovery without distractions.
What Amenities Are Available at Drug Rehab for Pilots?
Dana Point Rehab Campus offers a wide range of upscale amenities designed to enhance recovery. Yoga, Tai Chi, beach activities and outdoor recreation areas are available for those who want to stay or become active while in recovery. Aviation professionals who wish to continue managing their careers while at rehab may be given access to private conference rooms with internet and phones. Other amenities may also be available upon request.