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Why Do Pilots Drink?

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Pilot's Lifestyle

Being a Pilot in itself is a very stressful job. Long hours, uncomfortable conditions, jet lag and fatigue make it a tough job. Many Pilots have flights stacked back-to-back with little to no time to relax, causing their job to put a great deal of stress on them. Not only is the job difficult, but they can also find themselves away from their families for extended periods of time. It is difficult for pilots to cope with this kind of lifestyle and because of it, many pilots turn to alcohol.

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Cause Of Stress In Pilots

Airplane Pilots can have flights that are over 12 hours long, often flying multiple different routes with little downtime. They are responsible for the life’s of hundreds of people on board and have to be constantly alert in case something unexpected happens. Their rest periods between shifts over the years have been decreased to the minimum amount allowable and they are also constantly pressured to give more of their time.

Pilots are often staying in hotel rooms far from their friends and families. Because they are isolated and alone, drinking comes to them quite easily. The isolation creates an environment thats easy for a pilot to slip into alcoholism. The strain that the flights put on the pilots body, repeated compressions and decompressions, also stacks fairly quickly when their body is not allowed enough time to rest. Partnered with jet lag and fatigue from long flights causes a great deal of stress. Pilots often feel the need to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Alcohol Regulations

Pilots are prohibited from drinking 8 hours before their flight. Pilots are not allowed to fly with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher.

U.S. Alcohol Checks

Within a year, the U.S. will conduct anywhere between 11,000 to 13,000 random alcohol checks on pilots. In 2015, tests in the U.S. caught 10 pilots were violating rules.

Get Help Today

Detox is that first step. For those looking for a new start—and a chance at real, lasting recovery—finding a professional detox center is urged. New Start is proud to offer a variety of alcohol detox services. Contact us today to learn more about these important first steps toward alcohol recovery.