Substance abuse is a growing concern among flight attendants, and early intervention and effective treatment is essential for improving outcomes and reducing the negative impacts of substance abuse on both personal and professional life.

Flight attendants have unique and demanding job that often involves irregular schedules, long hours, and frequent travel across different time zones. This lifestyle can sometimes lead to stress and other challenges, which in some cases may result in substance abuse issues.

Substance Misuse Statistics Among Flight Attendants

Substance misuse among flight attendants is a significant concern due to the unique and often stressful nature of their work. However, specific statistics on this issue can be challenging to find, as many studies focus on the transportation industry as a whole or do not separate data by occupation. Here are some key points based on available resources:

  1. A study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website mentions substance use among aviation workforce, including flight attendants and pilots, with a prevalence of cannabis use1.
  2. Another study aimed to explore the prevalence rates of co-occurring mental health problems among 70 flight attendants in substance abuse treatment2.
  3. A guide suggests that flight attendants, like other high-stress jobs, can become vulnerable to the use of drugs or alcohol to cope with their work3.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found alcohol-related deaths to be higher than expected, though only among male flight attendants4.
  5. The Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program Manual mentions that 8.2% of workers in the transportation industry have experienced serious problems in their life because of their alcohol use5.

These statistics highlight the importance of programs like FADAP, which provide support and treatment options for flight attendants dealing with substance misuse. It’s crucial to remember that these figures may not fully represent the scope of the issue, as many cases of substance misuse go unreported or untreated.

Increased Risk Of Substance Abuse In Flight Attendants

Substance abuse among flight attendants is a complex issue, with multiple factors contributing to its prevalence.

are some of the reasons why flight attendants may turn to substance abuse. Studies have shown that flight attendants have higher rates of substance abuse compared to the general population.

The consequences of substance abuse for flight attendants can be severe and far-reaching. Substance abuse can affect personal relationships, and work performance, and lead to legal and professional consequences. Substance abuse can also impact the health and safety of both the flight attendant and the passengers they serve.

Addiction Treatment For Flight Attendants

There are several effective substance abuse treatment options available for flight attendants. Flight attendants have a comprehensive EAP program called FADAP. FADAP is a substance-abuse prevention program, created and promoted for and by the flight attendant profession and funded by the FAA that helps flight attendants gain access to care including:

  • Medical Detox
  • Inpatient treatment & Rehab
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Medications-assisted treatment
  • Behavioral therapy

Accessing substance abuse treatment can be a challenge for flight attendants. Stigma and discrimination, lack of access to treatment, confidentiality concerns, and interference with work schedules are some of the barriers that flight attendants may face in seeking treatment.

Call now to learn more about our professional program for flight attendants!

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FADAP EAP Program For Substance abuse

Employers have a crucial role to play in addressing substance abuse among flight attendants. Employers can provide access to treatment, protect the confidentiality, support employees in recovery, and offer an Employee Assistance Program. By taking these steps, employers can help reduce the negative impacts of substance abuse and support flight attendants in their journey to recovery.

The FADAP program is revolutionary in a sense because it is a peer-run program with managers from 25 different airline carriers that started in March 2009 at the “Return to the Cabin” Summit and received funding from the FAA. This makes it possible for flight attendants to have treatment paid for at an executive-focused rehab like The Ridge Ohio.

Here is the FADAP onboarding video.

Here are some key quotes from the video titled “FADAP Orientation”:

  1. “The Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program (FADAP) provides confidential help for any flight attendant concerned about substance use, whether it’s yours or our flying partners.”
  2. “Substance abuse and dependency are health problems. Without professional attention, their symptoms progress, which means they get worse with time, not better.”
  3. “Examine your alcohol use just as frequently as you examine yourself for other health risks like skin or breast cancer.”
  4. “The three C’s of addiction are easy to remember: the first is loss of control… the second is compulsive use… the third is continued use despite negative risks or consequences.”
  5. “Alcoholism and drug addiction aren’t forms of badness, they’re forms of sickness.”
  6. “When it comes to substance abuse and addiction, there’s a lot of good news. Treatment exists, treatment works, and FADAP can connect you to the treatment that has been designed just for flight attendants.”
  7. “Recovery has given me my life back. Today my life is filled with healthy relationships and healthy activities. It all started with one call to FADAP.”
  8. “Recovery is not a hard landing, it’s a journey. There is no elevator to recovery, you have to take the steps.”
  9. “Help for any flight attendant, regardless of employer or affiliation, is just a phone call away. We are flight attendants. We are the face of recovery.”

Flight Attendant Drug And Alcohol Program Value Statement

  • Substance Use Disorders are preventable and treatable chronic illnesses
  • Left unaddressed, we all pay the price in numerous ways
  • FADAP is dedicated to preventing and reclaiming personal and economic loss

Receive Immediate & Confidential Substance Use Treatment If You Are An Airline Employee

Substance abuse is a serious issue among flight attendants and airline employees in general. Early intervention and access to effective treatment are essential for improving outcomes in any executive profession. Doctors And Lawyers have similar struggles and The Ridge Professional Program is built to treat individuals with these specific needs. Employers have a crucial role in addressing substance abuse and reducing the stigma surrounding it. With the right support and resources, flight attendants can overcome substance abuse and lead healthy, productive lives. Contact us today to start your recovery journey at The Ridge Ohio.



  1. Ballard, T.J., Lauria, L., Mazzanti, C., Romito, P., Verdecchia, A., & Vigiliano, V. (2006). Self-perceived health and mental health among women flight attendantsOccupational and Environmental Medicine63(1), 33-38.
  2. More About FADAP (pulled February 9th 2023)
  3. NCBI – Policies and Toxicological Screenings for No Drug Addiction: An Example from the Civil Aviation Workforce
  4. Springer Link – Mental Health and Substance Use Characteristics of Flight Attendants Enrolled in an In-Patient Substance Abuse Treatment Program
  5. FHE Rehab – The Flight Attendant’s Guide to Addiction and Mental Health Help
  6. CDC – Health concerns for Flight Attendants
  7. FADAP – Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program Manual