Earlier this month the Business Development Team from PRIDE Institute attended the Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program www.fadap.org Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. PRIDE has a long history of working with the Employee Assistance Programs for many of the airlines and when an LGBT flight attendant reaches out for help we often get the call.

The conference was a huge success and provided an opportunity to learn the unique challenges for flight attendants in recovery. Many of the speakers highlighted these challenges, including:

  • Identifying and responding to hazardous conditions to themselves
  • Identifying and responding to hazardous conditions to the traveling public
  • In-flight medical emergencies
  • Unexpected turbulence
  • Unruly passengers
  • Flight attendants experience higher than average rate of work related injury and sickness (according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor)
  • Working in a pressurized cabin
  • Back pain (60% of all reported pain)
  • Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired are often considered warning signs and situations for relapse. A flight attendant lifestyle often is consumed with these four conditions.

Understanding how incredibly difficult the job is overall doesn’t even account for the random and unpredictable schedule they are asked to maintain. Conference attendees talked about missing holidays, birthdays and school plays when, due to weather or mechanical problems, flights land them in a different city, alone.

One of the invited speakers outlined flight attendant culture and its natural propensity toward drug and alcohol abuse. When a flight attendant puts on their uniform, they must be ready to smile, appear calm (no matter what) and maintain extremely high levels of customer service. These types of stressors can lead to addiction with such easy access to alcohol and medications across the globe.

Thank you FADAP for doing such selfless work for your fellow flight attendants facing addiction. The entire flying community is safer because of your support. For more information on this program, please check out FADAP (( LINK TO FADAP))