2003 Post Iraq war DUI + Urinalysis FAIL

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Fallingdownmountains, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Howdy,

    I've started working towards obtaining my first class medical despite a couple of issues from my past.
    2003 - Failed a USMC urinalysis for MDMA. Approximately one month later I was arrested for DUI (0.11 bac). I was a dummy.

    I've met with a HIMS AME in the SLC area. He wasn't sure exactly what the FAA may require given my history but said most likely a full neuropsychological eval, psychiatric, drug and alcohol screenings (the easiest part IMO), and perhaps AA (not excited about the possibility of pretending to be an alcoholic). I did see a counselor many years ago for some relationship issues, stress management etc. I don't know what kind of clinical diagnosis was made, but I never took any meds. I've made an appointment for next month to compete the neuropsychological eval. Does anyone have any other suggestions, or insights as to what I may expect? Any additional advice? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No direct experience with the FAA side, but I would recommend going into AA with honesty and an open mind. There's more wisdom in a good 12 step meeting than you might think and it ain't all about alcohol, that's the symptom.
     
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  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have differing opinions about 12-step hokum, but that's neither here nor there, because you can guarantee that the FAA in its infinite stupidity will require daily attendance at it for at least an initial period.

    Your AME appears on the ball. The FAA will set the bar for you and they will set it high.
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Of the population on this board, very few (if any) are properly qualified to correctly answer your questions. Provide some guessing and opinions, yeah, we got lots of that.

    Fortunately we have two really good senior AME's who periodically will provide comment and some guidance: Dr. Lou Foster (@lbfjrmd) and Dr. Bruce Chien (@bbchien). Hopefully they will be by soon to contribute to this thread.

    That you have already engaged a HIMS AME is the right step. Follow the guidance he or she provides and your chance at success will be greatly increased.
     
  5. I probably share your "differing opinions" about 12-step programs. I attended an NA meeting many years ago with my mother (my sister has had a rough go at it) and wasn't really impressed to say the least. I don't feel very powerless and have fifteen years of responsible behavior to prove that feeling correct. I drink on average one drink per week (some none, some two or three depending on social activity). I do worry that the experience of AA would be somewhat traumatic, as again, I'm not actually an alcoholic (by definition), I'd rather get gene therapy (almost an option, not quite). As another poster mentioned, I'll try to keep an open mind despite being a very much non-religious fella. Maybe there's an alternative program in my area that's a little more flexible.

    Another question: Anyone know how long this takes before they'll issue a license?

    Lastly: Urinalyses, how invasive are these? Can I hold down a job while enrolled in this program, or will I have to leave work randomly to pee in a cup?

    Thanks for all the responses thus far.
     
  6. Apologies for the barrage of posts/questions.

    Does anyone know if the SMART program is approved by the FAA? It seems substantially less painful than AA for someone like me. It's actually based in science (gasp!) and seems a bit more flexible than AA. No offense to anyone who has achieved sobriety through AA, but if I absolutely have to attend a program, I'd prefer to not compromise my values and lie to "graduate."

    https://www.smartrecovery.org/about-us/
     
  7. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    FAA HIMS/AME/ATC flight doc
    follow your HIMS AME instructions ... apply for a medical upon his rec ... and document your sobriety and recovery program.
     
  8. Thanks for the response doc!

    I believe he already submitted my medical ~two weeks ago (after doing a complete physical and EKG). He said I should receive a letter in a few weeks with more specific instructions. He didn't seem to have much experience with folks like me (15+ years past issues), which is why I'm asking so many questions.

    Apologies for my ignorance here- when you suggest I "document my sobriety and recovery program," do you mean I should keep a daily journal of sobriety or something like that? I haven't been told to enter a recovery program yet, kind of just awaiting further instructions at this point.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Understand that a "few weeks" these days is likely going to be 16 (or more). And when the FAA says "sobriety" they mean COMPLETE ABSTINENCE from any drinking. If you can't manage that right now, you'd best get yourself into some effective rehab because when you go on the FAA's clock for verification, you can't screw that up ONE DROP.

    What you can do while you are waiting is round up any records you don't already have to include getting driving history reports from every state you've lived in as well as any records you can get for your court cases. I can guarantee they'll want those.
     
  10. Thank you! I am FIRM believer in abstinence only policies. Pun totally intended Haha!

    Nah but seriously that's fine, I enjoy alcohol from time to time but I can live without if necessary (sounds necessary). Already working on records, some of which have been destroyed because it's been so long. Didn't think of driving history reports, but I'll get on that. I've had a CDL for about five years now.

    Thanks for the advice!