chapter  15
8 Pages

Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse Assessment

WithMichael J. Atherton

Alcohol has long been associated with aviation whether it be champagne flowing freely in the business and first-class lounges or as the social vehicle of layovers and legend building. Alcohol is generally the most available drug in the world as it is legally available in most countries and is often considered to be a part of normal socialization and culture. Aviation sector employees are also subject, under local, civil and often military aviation safety regulations, to a workplace alcohol and other drug testing regime where they are performing, or available to perform, safety sensitive aviation activities. The assessment of pilots, like many other professionals, comes with a range of subtle factors worth consideration. Aviation is no different, and it has been estimated that alcohol abuse and dependence affect approximately 5–8% of all pilots in their life time, similar to the proportions in other professional occupations such as law and medicine.