Stop Forcing PILOTS to attend AA- Alcoholics Anonymous

Stop Forcing PILOTS to attend AA- Alcoholics Anonymous

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Monica Richardson started this petition to Michael A. Berry and

Alcoholics Anonymous is an abstinence based, spiritual organization that has never employed or relied on science, medicine, or evidence of any kind. 

 

There is not a single mental health professional or medical doctors involved in its planning or oversight.  In recent major publications, attention has been drawn to the problems with how outdated and unscientific and ultimately unsuccessful it is. 

 

It is openly known to be a large group of former alcoholics and addicts getting together to talk about how God (or in AA-speak their “Higher Power”) is the only pathway to healing and health. This does not qualify as mental or physical healthcare. 

 

It was developed in the 1930’s, when there were no existing treatment options available. However, today that is not the case. And AA has been proven ineffective for the majority of those who attend. If a cancer treatment had the same failure rate - it would be banned from the market. 

 

Yet, all pilots who seek help for alcohol use issues (and even those who don’t) are forced to go to an AA based rehab. Then, they are made to go for another 3-5 years (sometimes for life as a pilot ) against their will to meetings in their communities - whether or not they align with the extreme and dogmatic teachings. 

 

In order to return to flying they must profess a belief in the 12-step ideology, which is explicitly god-fearing in nature. They are also forced to join the HIMS ( Human Intervention Motivational Study) program which is as well. 

 

I have been contacted by countless pilots who have been forced through this process - to go to extended rehabs based in religious beliefs that do not align with their own. Twelve step rehab to 12 step (Intensive Outpatient) IOP to 12 step meetings 3-5 times a week for years. 

 

They believe - as do I - that this is a major violation of their civil rights. To prevent choice in recovery modalities - and force a religious and totally unprofessional organization when there are plenty of more effective, non-religious options available - is unethical and illegal violating many civil rights. SMART Recovery, IGNTD Recovery, and Moderation Management are all non-religious alternatives. 

 

If a pilot refused this religious prescription, and demanded a modern, evidence-based method - he would lose his career. 

 

This must stop. AA literature even states that no one can be forced to attend his or her meetings. And so in allowing this type of corporate behavior control, they are complicit in forcing themselves onto unwilling individuals. 

 

This is a call to action for any person or professional told they are being compelled to attend an 1930’s religious based 12 step rehab, treatment or attend its meetings will join in the fight to say NO… to violating our 1st Amendment Rights – and refuse coercion, extortion for the right to work at your job – be it a pilot, nurse, doctor or a lawyer.  We all have the basic human right to get mental health treatment, Substance over use treatment or normal healthcare treatment where we so choose.

 

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