Prescribed Drug Policy Case Study

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Prescribed drug policies entailed varying detail regarding specific drugs or groups of drugs, including ' over the counter ' medications as well as prescription only drugs. In many cases, they recommended or required that advice be sought from a company medical practitioner or from an approved aviation medical examiner (William E. Thomas 43).
Screening policies
Eighteen airlines indicated that they had an alcohol and/or drugs screening program for aircrew. Unfortunately, variable amounts of detail were provided, and in two cases no information was provided at all. Two airlines referred only to conducting medical examinations; in one case on a 'frequent ' basis, and in the other case on a 'random ' basis prior to flying duties. Six airlines referred to specific tests for illicit drugs, mostly modeled on FAA guidelines. Eleven airlines referred to specific tests for alcohol, including seven that specified the use of breathalyzers. Of the 11 airlines conducting screening for alcohol intoxication, the context of testing was: random (5), pre-duty (3), post-accident (4), pre-employment (3), or on 'reasonable cause '(4) (William E. Thomas 57.).
Prevention
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Few respondents gave any details in their answer to this question, and it appeared likely that most of those giving a positive reply considered any drug and alcohol policy to be a 'prevention ' policy. However, inspection of the policy documents provided by some respondents revealed references to 'increasing awareness ' of drug and alcohol problems, or a commitment to creating a 'drug and alcohol-free workplace '. One company had prepared its own guide to alcohol/drugs for flight crew (William

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