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Addiction Treatment Program For Airline Pilots

Grounded ......

You’ve self-disclosed an alcohol or drug problem, or you’ve failed a drug test, and you’re no longer allowed to fly. The career you’ve worked so hard to build up seems in jeopardy, and the path back to the cockpit seems insurmountable.

At Cornerstone of Recovery, we understand that discouragement and that desperation, because we’re one of the few treatment facilities in the nation with a program specifically designed for pilots who have a problem with alcohol or drugs. Our Aviation Program is designed to treat your addiction and address its underlying causes, while helping you set the stage for a return to the sky through the Pilots HIMS Program (Human Intervention and Motivation Study).

alcohol drug rehab for pilots

Getting The Help You Need And Back To Work

Developed in 1974, HIMS was designed to give pilots affected by alcoholism and addiction a process through which they can receive treatment and successfully return to the cockpit under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Special Issuance Regulations (14 CFR 67.401). Before its implementation, the fear of job loss prevented many pilots from asking for help out of fear of losing their jobs, but today, the majority of those who receive treatment are successfully returned to duty. HIMS is a comprehensive process that involves company representatives, peer pilot volunteers, health care professionals and FAA medical specialists, and while it includes treatment methods that are applicable to all addicted individuals, it utilizes steps that are unique to the safety-sensitive airline industry. Some of those steps include:


Comprehensive testing;

Referrals to a HIMS-trained Aviation Medical Examiner;

On-site COG screening;

Aftercare meetings for pilots treated through Cornerstone or who return to the East Tennessee area from other treatment programs;

In-depth pre-discharge HIMS preparation; and

Discharge planning that includes HIMS-compliant outpatient recommendations for follow-up care.

Addiction Treatment Programs That Meet HIMS Requirements

Cornerstone of Recovery’s reputation as one of the top treatment providers in the nation for aviation professionals has earned us a long-standing relationship with the FAA. Our Aviation Program staff members are familiar with specific HIMS treatment protocols, including reporting requirements for the industry and specific airlines, and our 30-day residential inpatient process allows patients, as a first step, to earn a special issuance medical certificate.

As part of the residential inpatient program, you’ll be immersed in both clinical and traditional approaches to drug rehab; our goal is to help you discover the root causes of your addiction and address past trauma that may play a role in your dependence on drugs and alcohol. We use both 12 Step and academic models of recovery, and as part of the larger Cornerstone community, you’ll take your recovery journey as part of a network of peers all seeking the same thing: freedom from active addiction and alcoholism. At the same time, you’ll take part in treatment that’s unique to pilots, all of it 100 percent HIMS-compliant and designed to meet all FAA protocols and requirements. Our staff members work to help pilots meet the requirements necessary for pilots to return to the cockpit.

It’s a rigorous process, but know this: Cornerstone’s Aviation Program was conceived by long-time members of the aviation industry with more than 40 years of experience working with the FAA, airline companies and unions. We’ve treated hundreds of pilots over the years, and because we’re just 5 minutes from Knoxville’s metropolitan airport, many pilots in recovery come by campus to attend Aviation Continuous Care groups, and some even act as mentors for pilots who seek treatment at Cornerstone.

When you’re grounded, it may seem like the end of your career, but we can assure you, it’s anything but. Often, it’s the beginning of a journey toward a new way of life, one in which you’ll find a new you and a new outlook. In Cornerstone’s Aviation Program, you’ll find all of the resources you need to overcome your addiction and return to the skies before you know it. And once you’re there, we’re confident you’ll see them through fresh eyes and with a perspective you’ve never had, thanks to recovery. Call us today and find out more information on how we can help.

Your First Step Towards Recovery Starts At Cornerstone

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