Transportation Professionals and Alcohol Addiction

Transportation Professionals and Alcohol Addiction

Tragically, substance abuse is common in the culture of transportation work. Several aspects of life for transportation workers increase their risk for substance abuse, particularly alcoholism. Alcohol addiction is of particular concern for law enforcement, transportation companies and flight attendants. However, several treatment options can help these workers both get and stay sober while they are travelling. If you cannot attend inpatient rehab, you can still overcome alcoholism.

Alcoholism Risk Factors for Transportation Professionals

The following factors place transportation professionals at risk for alcoholism:

  • Extended time away from friends and family can cause loneliness
  • Driving a truck, flying a plane or manning a train can involve extended boredom
  • Caring for multiple passengers or millions of dollars of cargo can be stressful
  • Some drivers use caffeine or other chemicals to stay awake, and they also abuse depressants like alcohol to sleep

Stress, anxiety, loneliness and boredom all impact the same part of the brain that alcohol abuse does. As a truck driver or pilot drinks to relax after a stressful shift, she medicates these negative emotions. The brain recognizes this relief and then craves it later on, meaning it encourages alcohol abuse. Transportation professionals with co-occurring emotional disorders such as depression or panic attacks are even more at-risk for alcoholism, but treatment options can address all of these issues.

Laws against Drinking on the Job

Repeated instances of impaired drivers and pilots causing death and destruction led the US government to pass numerous laws to curb substance abuse. For instance, all transportation professions involved with vehicle operation are required to undergo both random and planned drug and alcohol testing. Drivers testing at .04 percent blood alcohol concentration are not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle until they have been given an evaluation by an addiction professional and then been cleared for service. Drivers testing at just .02 percent blood alcohol concentration are also sequestered until at least 24 hours after the test was administered. For comparison, most states consider a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to be legally drunk, so these workers have stronger regulations for their sobriety.

While testing standards are stringent, many transportation professionals play the odds that they won’t get caught. Others avoid drinking on the job, but become addicted to alcohol by drinking excessively later. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for these people to avoid drinking close to, or during, their shifts. However, the best way to prevent addiction and legal trouble is to seek professional help.

Alcoholism Help for Transportation Workers

If you are a transportation professional who struggles with alcoholism, please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to plan on how to get sober. The sooner you call, the sooner you can take the first steps toward a life without alcohol. Don’t risk your career, your family’s well-being or someone’s life by avoiding treatment.  Instead, reach out to out knowledgeable workers.