Real Answers from Real Pilots

Past substance problems and licencing

I wanted to get some advice on an issue. I am in sobriety from alcohol, will this negatively impact the medical or license possibility? I want to be honest with them, but don’t want negative impact, especially since I got sober on my own without court or medical reasons, so it won’t be on either record

Jesse,

If you have a clean record, there is no reason it will have any impact on getting your licenses, but if the topic comes up in an interview or something like that, it will definitely not be in your favor. It goes without saying that you should never attempt to hide this issue, and you should think carefully how you will be able to address it and convince the interviewer that you have overcome your problem.

If you feel that you are not dependent on alcohol anymore, then you shouldn’t be afraid of it affecting your career.

Yarden

Jesse,

Alcoholism is a serious disease and problem. You say there’s nothing on your record so there’s no way that would come out if that’s true. That said the industry allows many opportunities to go out and “party” with the crews and if there’s a potential for lapse I’d be very careful and mindful. Far too many pilots get sucked back into it and it never ends well. I strongly recommend you talk to someone and get some professional help prior to training.

Adam

Thank you Yarden, I figured it might just be about delivery if asked, so I’ll just have to somewhat perfect that and hopefully show them my commitment if inquired

Jesse,

This really isn’t about perfecting your response or even passing an interview. This is obviously a big enough concern for you to bring it up on this forum in addition to how it will effect your career. If in fact there’s no record and “you got sober on your own” you shouldn’t have any concern at all. I don’t drink, not at all and even I feel pressure at times. I really encourage you to give it some thought.

Adam

Well I go to AA regularly, so more or less I meant I decided to get sober without interference from getting in trouble or because I had to, say from a health problem. So “on my own” actually is with support from peers and others, it is just not an on the record thing.

Well that’s a good thing. Again if your record is clean and you’ve got it under control there’s really nothing else to be concerned about.

Adam