Alcohol and Drug Guidelines

Substance Abuse—Alcohol/Drug Guidelines

Alcohol/Drug Guidelines
  1. To be considered for medical certification, you should write to the FAA, stating that you have completed at least one full year of recovery with evidence of complete abstinence after being treated for drug or alcohol abuse. Although the Part 67 regulations require that there be a sustained period of abstinence of no less than the preceding two years, pilots may be considered for recertification as early as one year after successful treatment with appropriate documentation.
  2. The FAA will require the following:
    1. Your complete treatment records and discharge summaries.
    2. An evaluation conducted by a professional who has had training in diagnosis and/or treatment of addictions. These professionals include substance abuse counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists, other physicians with training in addictive disorders, or members of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). (A psychiatric and psychological evaluation may be required if the initial evaluation is inconclusive).
    3. Evidence of successful completion of an inpatient or intensive outpatient program with a documented commitment to abstinence.
    4. Participation in an acceptable aftercare program consisting of individual and group counseling sessions for at least 12 months.
    5. Establishment of a monitoring system that includes a physician with expertise in substance abuse disorders, and
    6. Additional monitoring reports from employers, family physicians, or others, as well as alcohol testing when indicated.

The report should include sufficient information to determine whether an addiction problem exists and comments regarding the following:

Personal:

  • Anxiety, depression, insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Isolation

Social:

  • Family problems
  • Marital separation or divorce
  • Irresponsibility
  • Child/Spousal Abuse

Legal:

  • Alcohol-related traffic offenses
  • Public intoxication
  • Assault and battery

Occupational:

  • Absenteeism or tardiness at work
  • Reduced productivity
  • Demotions
  • Frequent job changes
  • Loss of employment

Medical:

  • Blackouts
  • Memory impairment
  • Stomach, liver, or cardiovascular problems
  • Sexual dysfunction

Economic:

  • Frequent financial crises
  • Bankruptcy
  • Loss of home
  • Lack of credit

Interpersonal Adverse Effects:

  • Separation from family, friends, associates, etc.

Additional Factors:

  • Alcohol tolerance
  • Withdrawal
  • Loss of control
  • Preoccupied with alcohol use
  • Continued use despite consequences

Specific information about the quality of recovery should be provided, including the period of total abstinence. A summary and assessment appraisal with final diagnosis using standard nomenclature is required. Random drug testing, liver function profile, or other testing may be required.

How/Where to Submit to the FAA

Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.

Updated October 27, 2009