Drug Violations and Aviation Accidents: Findings from the US Mandatory Drug Testing Programs

The objective of this paper is to assess the role of drug violations in aviation accidents. The participants used for this paper were aviation employees who were tested for drugs during 1995–2005 under the post-accident testing program or under the random testing program. A drug violation was defined as a confirmed positive test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates or phencyclidine. The prevalence of drug violations was 0.64% in random drug tests and 1.82% in post-accident tests. The odds of accident involvement for employees who tested positive for drugs was almost three times the odds for those who tested negative, with an estimated attributable risk of 1.2%. Marijuana accounted for 67.3% of the illicit drugs detected. The proportion of illicit drugs represented by amphetamines increased progressively during the study period, from 3.4% in 1995 to 10.3% in 2005. Use of illicit drugs by aviation employees is associated with a significantly increased risk of accident involvement. Due to the very low prevalence, drug violations contribute to only a small fraction of aviation accidents.

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  • Authors:
    • Li, Guohua
    • Baker, Susan P
    • Zhao, Qi
    • Brady, Joanne E
    • Lang, Barbara H
    • Rebok, George W
    • DiMaggio, Charles
  • Publication Date: 2011-7


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01343367
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2011 1:53PM