In your opinion, Will I be required to enter a "Monitoring Program"?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Pizza Guy, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    Dear Fellow Aviators.
    I have an interesting situation regarding the issuance of my 3rd class medical certificate.
    I am a Private Pilot who stated flying in 1987, shortly after I started flying I purchased an airplane and finished my training in that airplane. In 2003 I sold that airplane to persue another thing.
    In 2005 I was convicted of DUI=.0156. I paid my debt on that, paid the $, got the assessment, went to the classes and received my diving privileges back.
    In 2014, I purchased another airplane. I renewed my biannual training, disclosed the DUI, filed a pilots statement of alcohol use and passed my 3rd class exam, and received my 3rd class cert.
    Its been great up until recently, unfortunately.
    You see, earlier this year in April, a #2 pain started in my abdomen. After 5 days I was seen by a urgent care doctor, diagnosis GERT, prescribed over the counter Prilosec. Pain disappeared.
    I had also made appt. with GI doctor for follow up. I also made appt. with AME for this 2 year 3rd class med. cert..
    I disclosed the incident to the AME, and passed the physical, except AME defered, until the results from the GI doctor. and sent all papers to the FAA along with the GI dr's report.
    Well after a very long wait, I finally received a certified letter from the FAA.
    Hurrah, just in time for Oshkosh. Not exactly.
    In it:
    #1 You will need to undergo an evaluation with a Human Intervention Motivation Study(HIMS). The HIMS AME should submit a narrative report summarizing the evaluation, which confirms that he has reviewed your FAA medical file, opines on your substance use history, and opines whether or not there appears to be an indication for a monitoring program. HIMS AME must comment on the 2005 DUI with BAC=.156, history of abdominal pain and notation of alcohol use in GI doctors narrative.

    GI doctors narrative stated patient drinks 2-3 beers daily.

    Hey, what gives, what ever happened to 8 hours bottle to throttle.?
    What do you think?
     
  2. Mikey B

    Mikey B Pre-Flight

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    Folks much wiser than I will opine on the medical questions.

    But just my opinion ... if you regularly drink 2-3 beers a day -- every day -- you might want to give yourself an intervention. That sounds like low-grade alcoholism to me. How about going a while (at least a week or so) without alcohol, and assess whether you have a "problem"?
     
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  3. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    insufficient info to definitively opine, but yes ... It is likely you will be evaluated and monitored.
     
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  4. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    If we're giving opinions, mine is worth what you pay for it ... Yes you will.
     
  5. TRC1969

    TRC1969 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    2 to 3 beers a day “8 hours bottle to throttle”. Leaves very few hours for flying. My experience with “GERD” is anything with bubbles, soda, beer makes it worse. Also the acid meds, Prilosec, nexium if taken long enough will kinda throw your stomach chemistry out of whack. Been there and it led to surgery. I agree with Mikey B you owe it to yourself to go week or so and see of you like your daily beer or need your daily beer. Good luck.
     
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  6. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Have a look at http://faamed.info and it’s FAQs which has the flowchart that will be used and other information.

    For that level and one DUI looks like you will need “Requires Chemical Abuse Depenency Counselor evaluation of 5 factors of tolerance, withdrawal, lifestyle centered on use, continued use in the face of bad outcomes, and blackouts.”

    Also note that the top post says 0.0156 whereas the FAA mentions 0.156. Big difference.
     
  7. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Mickey: Well I was thinking about that today.

    So I broke out my 2 portable BAC trac Breathalysers.
    I broke out my digital camera with the time stamp turned on.
    I turned on cellphone daytimer
    All together, blow into two at once, placed on surface next to cell phone, showing day and time.
    15 seconds to grab digital camera, take an image and walla print an image. so far today, 3 times, morning, afternoon and night.

    Do you think the guys will approve of my Poor mans Soberlink.?

    If I do this daily until my evaluation, which might be 45 days to get my Medical records, i'll have 135 photos to show. so far today, I have 3 BAC=.00 images.
    I hav'nt figured out a the random test thing yet.
     
  8. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    Oh yeah, typo, BAC was at .156.
    Could you comment further still?
     
  9. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That’s not random. That’s timed of you own choosing.."
     
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  10. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I am surprised you slipped through with the first medical report of the DUI. You screwed up and should have went basic med.
     
  11. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Have you stopped drinking?
     
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  12. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    Dear Dr. Chien:
    Thank you for responding to my post.
    Owning a Restaurant is way alot more fun than owning a Manufacturing company, which I sold in 2003. I get satisfaction every day, and people love my product because I run a tight business. I thought I was a responsible user and Employer and Beer and Wine License holder and Pilot. Usually I work on rental property during the day, then at the Restaurant at night, so excuse me if at 9:00pm or 10:00pm closing time, Employee says " hey boss is it Miller Time?" Invariabily I say" Yes, and get me one as well" . Since my conviction in 2005, rules for me are, no alcohol before 7:00 PM, No alcohol until the work is done, and no more than 3 anytime, has served me well, I thought.
    Little did I know, what I know today, because of yours and other men's comments on this Forum. Thank You all. Had I known the FAA position on this, things could have been different.
    Yesterday, things changed, I had one beer, to see if I could stop after one beer. no problem.
    Today, all is good, except there is only one empty can in the trash. I have no signs of withdrawal, or stress from changing my routine, I feel great, although, I always feel great.
    I did however speak with 2 HIMS AME doctors regarding this issue. First one was a Capitalist, $2000 to start, If I opinion, your in the program, $2500 Psych. exam, $3000 Cognitive exam, Billing monthly at $315 per hour. Second Doctor was more sympathic to my story.

    In order to prevent that scenario, Is there an opinion on what I could do, NOW, to prove to the doctor, aside from what I said previously, to mitigate my circumstance.
    I'm screwed, E-bay auction, One 1978 Piper Airplane, buy-it-now, fresh annual.
     
  13. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    I Had one yesterday, to see if I could stop. 2 trains of thought on that.
     
  14. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Well, that is what you will be in for. Might be able to skip lifetime monitoring if there have been no other issues. But as others have commented, the 3 beers a day usage level will be an issue during the evaluation.

    Get a senior HIMS AME to look at your case and guide you. That is likely the best approach. And yes, all of this will cost some money and time.
     
  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unfortunately you have rung a bell that can't be unrung. You'll need to deal with this. I'm just some guy on the internet, the two opinions that can really help are Dr Chien and Dr Lou.

    As for my opinion, since the bell has now been rung with the FAA, the only correct answer from you is " I have seen the error of my ways, flying is more important than a few beers, I will be abstinent from now on." I think the FAA used to be more tolerant of alcohol and offer more chances, but there have been some bad apples who let their addiction ruin it for others.
     
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  16. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    No. I do think the advice on my medical FAQs under "I don't really have a drinking problem" applies here.

    Since you asked for further comments, honestly, it sounds like you will be in for the HIMS program at a minimum and likely lifetime monitoring. Figure $5-10k and 6-12 months to resolve this.
     
  17. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Only one of those trains is derailed. If you cannot stop drinking, you have a problem.
     
  18. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    If you're at peace with that being your last beer ever, you probably have a good chance.
    I don't know what the difference between capitalism and sympathy is, but it sounds like you are on the right path. If you've got a good AME, he will know exactly what should go in the letter back to the FAA and whether you meet the standards.
     
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  19. RussS

    RussS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Based on only anecdotal evidence, I have to say that I believe you will DEFINITELY be required monitoring. I was hit with monitoring and hoops for MUCH less. Though that won't make you feel good, there should be a path if you choose to take it. Your ONLY option will be to stop drinking completely, and prove it to the FAA through one of their approved channels. Those channels are HIMS AMEs and random pee tests (14 in a 12 month period). You will need at least the psych exam, possibly the "full battery". Monitoring if you are lucky will be for 5 years, if not forever. Like some others have said here, once the alcohol bell is rung with the FAA, there is no un-ringing it. There is also no such thing as responsible drinking according to the FAA once they have you in their scope. IF you can and are willing to give up drinking 100%, jump through a bunch of hoops, and agree to their monitoring protocols, you CAN get issued a medical. But also like others have said...you will need time AND money. Again, much of my opinion comes from my own experience, so definitely take it for what its worth.
     
  20. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Other than being a missed opportunity right now, how does BasicMed fit into this? Can the OP do enough HIMS to get a Class 3, then get a BasicMed and quit the HIM$?
     
  21. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I believe he would have to continue the monitoring until his class 3 expires. He can get a Basic at any time, but he can’t let his class 3 be revoked, as a revocation would make him ineligible for Basic.
     
  22. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    And on the HIMS the class 3 may have a shorter expiry, so might not be too long.

    But if you stop drinking alcohol entirely for 6 months to a year and previously had problems with it, do you really want to start drinking again?

    Yes I know plenty of people fall off the wagon a few years out.
     
  23. Pizza Guy

    Pizza Guy Filing Flight Plan

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    I love you guys, thank you.
     
  24. PiperW

    PiperW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nothing ever good comes from alcohol.

    destroys families, careers, friendships, and eventually ones life.
     
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  25. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Had you said alcoholism I would agree.
     
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  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Or alcohol abuse, but that pretty much applies to abuse of almost anything.
     
  27. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Posts like this make me extremely grateful for my HIMS AME. His attitude is to help pilots. Period. Charges way less than he could considering supply/demand.
     
  28. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I disagree.
     
  29. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pizza Guy, the notion of, "I just want to see if I can handle it" is a dead ringer for alcohol dependence not in recovery.

    What the difference between:
    "See, I can handle it"
    and
    "I know that I can't have that stuff"?

    The first means you still think you're in control.
    The second means you realize you have no control and have to not go there. Alcohol is a sneaky b_stard.

    Put in FAA terms, you already have tolerance (the only way to get that is to drink long and hard)
    And you continue to use in the face of the negative consequences from prior. They're gonna look pretty hard at you. And yes, you can be alcohol dependent NOT in recovery, even with a single 0.15.

    Yeah. you're going to need monitoring, at very least. And some education.
     
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  30. MalibuJim

    MalibuJim Pre-Flight

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    If the numbers above scare you, then you may as well give up now, because those are just a drop in the bucket.
    In the eyes of the FAA, you have a major alcohol problem. You will be considered guilty until proven innocent by means of lots of testing and professional evaluations. Getting my SI, over something innocuous and nowhere near what you have, cost well into 6 digits over 2 years, along with over 500 pages of supporting documentation. It's not easy, but it can be done. Plan on giving up alcohol altogether if you want to fly, otherwise don't waste your time and money.
     
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