Pilots carry an enormous amount of pressure in their careers, as they are responsible for the livelihood and safety of hundreds of aircraft passengers on a daily basis. This high-stress position can lead any airline pilot to develop a dependence on alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs as a way to cope or unwind that ultimately risks their career, their life, and the lives of everyone onboard their aircraft.
Positive Sobriety Institute welcomes all pilots suffering from addiction to our rehabilitation center to recover from substance abuse, take back their life, and return to the career they love.
Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS)
In the 1970’s, a research project called HIMS (Human Intervention Motivation Study) was initiated by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), a labor union, and funded by the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). This study was designed to address alcoholism among airline pilots.
Today HIMS is a substance abuse treatment and recovery program for commercial pilots. The HIMS coordinates the identification, treatment, and return to work process for affected aviators. The HIMS program collaborates with airline managers, pilots, treatment professionals, and the FAA to preserve careers and protect the public.
HIMS does not offer, or recommend specific treatment programs for pilots. However HIMS criteria for treatment programs includes, but is not limited to:
- A full-time credentialed Addiction Medicine Physician
- Credentialed and/or certified counselors, some of whom are in substantial recovery themselves
- Acceptance of addiction as a primary disease
- Insistence on total abstinence
- Separation of alcoholic/addict patients from primary psychiatric patients
- Psychiatry & Psychology Consultants
- A strong family treatment component
- Recovery based on the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
- Endorsement by the proper accreditation or licensure agencies
Our goal at Positive Sobriety Institute’s impaired pilot program is to help our patients return to their aircrafts in the safest way possible after stabilizing from addiction and completing rehabilitation. The overarching goal of treatment is to get the pilot into a stable recovery, with a recommendation from the treating physician that he or she is ready for return to flight status. According to the HIMS specifications, after treatment all pilots and air traffic controllers are tested for drugs and alcohol randomly to ensure sobriety maintenance.
Addiction Treatment For Pilots
PSI meets and exceeds the requirements outlines by HIMS. We work closely with Aviation Medical Examiner (AME), that is required by the FAA to coordinate the re-certification process. We also work closely with the “peer pilots” program to coordinate continuing care, relapse prevention, and to integrate any specific treatment recommendations into the individual recovery plan.
Birds of a Feather, another organization formed by the FAA, unions, and airlines, which is part of the peer pilot program, has meetings for pilots modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, with chapters in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. They meet in airports all over the world, so it is very convenient for the pilots to attend a wonderful support group.
Like the physicians program, the impaired pilots program abides by the HIMS accountability, 12 Step participation and monitoring plus mandatory participation in peer-support groups.
Catering To Your Needs as a Pilot
For pilots addicted to drugs, alcohol, or pain medications, the pursuit of recovery is often more complex than other recovery journeys, because after rehab, pilots will return to their career where they have learned ways to sustain and propel substance abuse addiction in their careers. Other addiction recovery journeys are very different from rehab for pilots, because addicts are usually discouraged from exposing themselves to addiction triggers when they transition from rehab back into regular life.
For pilots, however, the goal is to return them to their field of practice, which can be especially difficult for patients, because they are submersed back into the same career that was once a catalyst for addiction. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to overcome addiction triggers in any circumstance, involving therapies for anger management, medication education, conflict resolution, coping skill development, depression management and more.
At Positive Sobriety Institute, we take careful consideration of your practice as an aviator professional and construct individualized rehabilitation programs that address the very unique stressors that pilots face with addiction. Our interdisciplinary treatment models a rehabilitation approach that integrates innovations in addiction medicine, psychiatry, therapy, and relapse prevention. At Positive Sobriety Institute, we also recognize the strengths of many pilots – focus, determination, intelligence – and build recovery programs to capitalize these characteristics to strengthen recovery success.
Comfort and Care For Pilots
As a pilot, you spend years of arduous study, training, and flying to achieve your career and professional status. Pilots deserve an addiction recovery environment that is comfortable, luxurious, safe, and discreet. Traditional addiction treatment fails to provide comprehensive are for the specialized needs of pilot professionals and the relationship between career stress and addiction onset.
The treatment specialists at Positive Sobriety Institute understand the unique needs of aviator professionals and have decades of combined experiencing in working closely with pilots, treating addiction, and returning clients to their field of practice. Our clinical team is balances the needs of each individual patient, while working with licensing boards and employers to ensure a safe transition back to their professions.
Start Your New Life Today
Positive Sobriety Institute recognizes the passion and love pilots have for their careers. Let us help you get back to safely serving your passengers and enjoying your career. Call our knowledgeable and compassionate team today for more information: 855-274-4278. We are available 24/7 to take your call.