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Airline & Aviation Professionals Program

Meeting the complex and critical needs of aviation professionals and their companies.

When substance abuse treatment is critical, depend on Caron Treatment Centers for the specialized, discreet, expert care those in the aviation industry require.

At Caron, we can help you build a treatment program that meets your needs.

Inpatient Treatment for Airline & Aviation Professionals

Pilots and others working in the aviation industry (for example, airline controllers, flight attendants, and mechanics) are responsible for keeping airways safe and secure and hold the safety of air passengers in their hands. In taking on that responsibility, they also take on challenges unique to their industry, like demanding work schedules, long work hours, needing to be on call, and extended periods away from home, family, and friends. Those challenges can make them particularly susceptible to addiction, otherwise known as a substance use disorder.

Caron Treatment Centers has designed its Airline & Aviation Professionals Program to meet the complex and critical needs of aviation professionals and their companies. Caron clinical experts who oversee the program are HIMS trained. Our staff has the specialized knowledge and ability to work not only with the affected individuals and their families but also with their employers.

Led by Joseph R. Tordella, D.O., a specialist in treating pilots and other aviation professionals and backed by a clinical team who is HIMS trained, the program offers both comprehensive evidence-based treatment as well as the capability to meet all aviation-specific requirements and regulations, such as reporting protocols, obtaining HIPAA compliance releases, and using company
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Featured Staff
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
Senior Clinical Director
Marty Ferrero is the Senior Clinical Director overseeing Caron’s Older Adult program, and Detox Clinical programming in Pennsylvania, as well as the monitoring and support program called My First Year of Recovery.

Program Components

The Airline & Aviation Professionals Program at Caron includes several key components:

  • Intensive inpatient, residential treatment: Each patient is assessed and evaluated. Based on the results, the clinical team develops proven addiction treatment plans tailored to the patient’s specific diagnosis and needs. An innovative phased system provides a clinically driven, variable length of stay (beyond the 28 day minimum recommended by the FAA), which includes detox if needed.

    Our experienced medical and addiction specialists draw from evidence-based treatment methods that include 12-Step integration, chronic pain management, if needed, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), addiction counseling, and a peer culture. The program also includes spirituality; health, fitness, and nutrition; and education about substance use and abuse specific to the patient’s history.

  • Continuing care: A multi-disciplinary treatment team develops a continuing care plan for each patient aimed at supporting them in sustaining their recovery. These continuing care plans conform to HIMS treatment protocols and include AA/NA/Birds of a Feather meetings, group counseling, substance use testing, and psychiatric/psychological evaluations. We provide a 12-Step contact in the patient’s home area prior to discharge and offer suggestions to aid them in finding a sponsor; work with them to create nutrition and/or fitness plans; and offer connections to Caron alumni support groups and networks, fellowship groups, and alumni activities. In addition, we offer deeper levels of support through specialized programs like our Extended Care Program, My First Year of Recovery, Breakthrough, and Recovery for Life services.

    The patient’s treatment team makes sure they have a support system in place, an accountability plan established, and the tools needed to continue to work on their sobriety. Caron provides support and guidance to patients for a full year after discharge. Patients and families will have the opportunity to stay connected through a combination of support and technology.

    Caron provides support and guidance to patients for a full year after discharge. Patients and families will have the opportunity to stay connected through a combination of support and technology.

  • Family services: Four-day interactive, educational programs are offered three times a month to ensure that family members have access to support and education. Caron staff provides information about addiction and helps family members understand what it means to enable addiction. Family members also learn coping skills and how to set healthy boundaries and get information about 12-Step programs. Statistics show that patients whose families participate in drug and alcohol rehab have lower relapse rates than those whose families are not involved.

  • Referrals: Patients in the Airline & Aviation Professionals Program will receive referrals specific to their geographic areas for:
    - Group counseling programs
    - AA/NA/Birds of a Feather groups
    - Psychologists and psychiatrists (HIMS)
    - Aviation medical examiners (HIMS)

  • Recovery Care Support: Patients and their families can call on the help and support of Caron’s recovery care specialists to answer questions, provide referrals, and offer support and guidance through the hotline.
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