Elisabete From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 92 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2522 times:
I am going to try to make this short and sweet. (But I usually write books. lolol) One of my closest friend is an officer in the AF (chair force lol). At the beginning of this year, he returned to the USA after his deployment to Iraq for one year. Return to a state of normalcy has been super-difficult for this officer, especially, among other factors, that, in my opinion, he is addicted to the "go pills." He has admitted to me that in fact he takes him, depends on them to "focus," and is trying to quit taking them.
My question(s) to anyone is where can I find more literature on this subject-matter? Examples, pilots who find themselves addicted to this stuff, where and how do they seek help, if any??? Is their assistance "under the radar" so that their military record remains clean? I prefer military literature on the matter.
I also understand that he will deal with this issue when he is ready. My purpose is to educate myself to best understand him and his presumably addiction to these pills.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions pertaining to the "go-pills." Nevertheless, I do believe that some Pilots do become addicted for whatever reasons.
Thank you so much for all your help. To any military personnel who read this message, thank you very much for serving our nation. It is because of you that we, civilians, and the rest of the world, are able to sleep comfortably in our beds. Thank you.
Chdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2428 times:
The go / no-go pills are legal and sanctioned by the Flight Surgeons. There are very specific guidelines on how we are allowed to use them, and as long as those guidelines are followed, there are no repercussions from a "problem" developing from them. However; If the guidelines are abused or violated, the USAF views this as substance abuse, and deals very swiftly and severely with it. In BOTH cases, the only way to avoid the wrath of the AF is to self identify yourself and immediately seek help. If the AF discovers abuse independently, it will be treated as a breach of substance abuse policy. If he is still using them, he needs to be forthright and expeditious with the Flight Doc. Especially with the "force reshaping" and bad press over the go/no-goes, he will be asking to be made an example of if he just "lets it ride".
I'm a tanker guy, so I am only cleared for the "no-go" part of it. I only did the prerequisite tests and were issued the pills, but never took them. No one I know did, we are always exhausted enough to sleep on our own (14 hour sorties will do that). The Flight Doc's were explicitly clear about the program though, and if he is having a problem, you need to HEAVILY URGE him to do the right thing, his career and life depends on it. Even if it seems like the easy way out is to take care of it alone right now, he will be asking for trouble later if it reoccours and a history of abuse without assistance is discovered. I am sure he is worried about the Major boards, and this could definitely affect whether he gets the all sought after DP or not, but in the end he will reap what he sows, and making Major a year or two out of cycle is a WHOLE lot better than loosing a career outright.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29513 posts, RR: 59 Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2414 times:
I guess that is the advantage of being a tanker guy.
You can switch off the controls between the crewmembers on the flight out and back.
Something you really can't do in a single seater in formation.
BTW: use of speed to encourage alertness goes way back. In fact there is a Meth recipe known as the "Nazi recipe" because it was developed by the Germans in order to find a safe way of providing those pep pills to their pilots.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
Elisabete From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 92 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2380 times:
Chdmcmanus, thank you very much for your reply and please do not take anything that I am about to write personally..okay???
I understand that the Armed Forces has its own procedures and legal consequences pertaining to the "go pills". Yes, I know that they are regulated as well...
What I do not understand is the double-standard. They make it available to the armed forces but at the same time, if you become addicted, you get in trouble??? Excuse me??? Who invent this line of stupidity?? Please, Please, do not mind my New York attitude and Latin Temper....(cannot help myself sometimes lolol to speak my mind lolol)
The bottom line is those pills do become addicted over a period of time, whether it be 2 weeks or 3 months or 6 months or one year. That is reality!
Some make the conscious decision not to take them while others make the conscious to take them. I am not here to judge anyone's whether to take or not to take them.
Some who make the decision to take them for whatever reasons do become addicted to them unfortunately. But there will be no way in hell that I, even I, who has never taken drugs, would run to the AF or any other armed forces branch and admit that "Oh Yes, I decide to take those pills, Oh yes, You told me about the consequences. But, due to a numbering of factors --war, hostile environments, long flights, demanding schedules, I have become addicted to those pills over a period of time. Now, I am here, before you, AF, and I want your help to stop taking those pills." AND, IN RETURN, the AF to turn their back on me and make an example of me?????? what??? hell no! there is no way ! I sacrificed my life to the armed forces and now they are going to f----- me over???? not in this lifetime ....So, when "shit hits the fan" (slang lolol --meaning when things get awful), the Top Dogs of the Armed Forces are too cowardly to take any responsibility enacting rules that have grave consequences such as the legally of these drugs??? oh, please, let us get real and cut the BS......
My friend is not the first, certainly not the last who will be addicted to those pills. There must be away "under the radar" to get him help ......
Chdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2350 times:
L-188, you should ask a few E-3 and tanker crews about the "advantage" at the end of a duty day, after three shifts of fighters have rotated through. It's nice for the Pilots to be able to "switch off the controls" between the AC and CP, but there is still only one of each, P/CP/FE/BO. Trust me, the Fighter guys get taken care of in their own little world.
Elisabete, first of all, you said he just returned from a one year deployment? I do not doubt your integrity; however, the only remote-short tours (1 Year) for AF officers in OIF currently are for command level personnel (some SQ/CC's and up) and planners/staff. Neither of which are active flying slots, only attached. If he is a Fighter Pilot, and was in an active flying slot, his tour length was 120 days, and with a Dec return date, it was after the primary air offensive in both OIF and OEF. This makes a world of difference, because if you read the articles, and from my personal experience, quoted "Go pills" are only authorized for single-seat aircraft missions of more than eight hours, and dual-place aircraft missions of more than 12 hours. . The ops tempo during this time in OIF for fighters makes 8 hour sorties very rare, and fly-turn-fly's extremely rare, which mean he should have had plenty of time to "decompress" after a flightline stint. If he was staff or a planner, or not a pilot, he was taking them of his own fruition, which directly constitutes substance abuse. The problem you mentioned previously is one the reasons we do rotations, not extended tours, in the AOR's. Also, the USAF makes a HUGE differentiation between someone they "catch", and someone who self identifies. That is an issue of integrity, and that is how Uncle Sam views it.
I don't take it personally; however, it is an extremely typical civilian response. To roughly quote an old saying, "For those that defend it, Freedom has a taste the protected will never know". This is one of those times. The military operates under a completely different mindset than the civilian sector. First of all, there is no draft. No one held a gun to his head to force him to a Commission, no one threatened his life to complete pilot training, and no one held him hostage to seek a fighter assignment, and no one challenged his Honor to take the pills or remain on flying status. He made choices to get there, and as a member of the US Armed forces, he must be held accountable for his choices. If he is addicted to a substance, he has lost control of his body, so how can he be trusted with the control of someone else? Should we reward him for not stepping up and admitting he was in over his head? I am not condoning the individual actions of the Government, which are some times misguided, but a basic trust of the underlying system is what constitutes the foundation of Honor and Integrity. I am one who has paid a king's ransom for a misguided moment with Uncle Sam. I (along with the entire crew) was punished under Article 15 of the UCMJ (better known as non-judicial punishment) for an infraction committed by an Aircraft Commander involving a travel voucher. No harm was done, and no malicious intent was at play, but for the fact that we did not stop the action, I received 60 days of additional duty, forfeiture of some pay, and all hopes of ever making E-8 or E-9 destroyed. In a civilian court I would have been acquitted in a heartbeat, but in the military, I got what I deserved for violating my integrity, even for a fraction of a second. Do you think that any troops I lead in the future will second guess my integrity because I violated a basic principal, admitted it, and paid for it; or do you think they would if I hid it and got away with it? As foreign as that may sound, it is a real and serious question for someone who can and may make life or death decisions over another person. This is simply the world Military personnel live in, and for whatever reason you choose it, you chose it freely. "oh, please, let us get real and cut the BS...... I agree, it's a raw deal when you get caught in a catch 22, however, never but never forget, The DoD doesn't owe you ANYTHING, the American People pay the debt by proxy of a volunteer force to those of us who earn freedom daily, so if you don't like the policy, change the government through the appointed methods, or get out.
Elisabete From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 92 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2265 times:
Chdmcmanus, wow...I am speechless lol ....only kidding ...
I do understand all your points and impress with your persuasive arguments, the legal ones especially lol, and I admire you for your strength and courage to do the right thing.
My friend is higher than a Major (command level personnel). Sorry for causing this confusion but thanks for your explanation. The truth of the matter is that I do not ask much about about his "job description" (since I am in the same boat with my profession.)
Further, I am extremely surprised that he admitted to me that he takes those pills. He told me that he wants to stop taking them. A habit that he has not yet overcome.
Embarrassment and shame overpower him to come forward and admit his problem to AF. It may sound silly or stupid to us, but it is very real to him.
My goal is to encourage him to find other means, outside of the military, to help him before it is too late.
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2261 times:
I have to jump in on this...It has been clearly stated that if you develop a problem in using these pills (when properly dispensed by a flight surgeon) and you bring it to the attention of the AF you will get the help/treatment that you need with no repercussions. The AF recognizes the potential danger of using these meds which is why they have put the help mechanism in place. Given this the encouragement to this unamed person should be for him to go to the flight surgeon/command staff and tell them he has a problem.
Trying to find other means will only hurt in the long run.
RareBear From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 553 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2214 times:
I didn't see anywhere in the initial post where the AF officer in question was in a flight status. It's my understanding that these pills were given to pilots, under the supervision of a flight surgeon, to be taken to increase performance and alertness levels on protracted missions.
It appears that the officer used these pills, perhaps not legitimately, to increase his "focus" and is now addicted to them. It does not appear that he was taking them under a flight surgeons supervision.
This would seem to me to be a clear case of substance abuse. Whether there is an "under the counter" method of handling this situation I don't know, but I would encourage the individual to seek help as soon as possible. He would be in a much better position having sought help than if he were discovered, or "caught".