Many Americans are take drugs like Xanax to help get relief from anxiety and panic disorders. A common question is if you are allowed to be on this drug while working as a flight attendant.
You are allowed to use Xanax as a flight attendant as long as you have a valid prescription from a doctor and the drug does not affect your ability to safely perform your job functions.
Must have a prescription
The first requirement of being able to take Xanax as a flight attendant is having a valid prescription. This means that you are seeing a doctor who prescribed the medicine to you. It also means that the prescription must be current and not expired.
If you take any prescription drug (including Xanax) without a prescription and are caught you will lose your job. The fact that the drug itself isn’t illegal won’t matter. Having a valid prescription is required.
Must not affect daily job functions
The other requirement is that the drug does not prevent you from safely performing your job duties.
This also means that if the physician believes that the drug would keep your from job safely, your could still be grounded from flights even if you disagree. It’s not enough for you to think you can take Xanax and safely be a flight attendant, your doctor has to agree.
This is a key point that I would make sure to talk to your doctor about if you find yourself needing a prescription. Make sure you are on the same page about the effects of whatever you are prescribed.
What Happens if You are Drug Tested?
First off, the DOT does not specifically test for Benzodiasepines according to their website. They specifically test for the following:
- Cocaine metabolites
- Marijuana metabolites (THC)
- Opiates (including codeine, heroin, and morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
That being said, each airlines is also allowed to have their own drug testing policy based on what they allow or do not allow. Many airlines would in fact know if you were using Xanax and took at drug screen.
The best course of action is to make sure you have a valid prescription (as mentioned above) and to make sure you disclose any prescriptions you take when/if asked by the airline.
Role of Xanax
It’s important to note that benzodiasepines like Xanax (and Valium or Ativan) is a drug used my millions to help with anxiety and other related issues. Although complete safe when taken at the direction of a physician, these drugs can be dangerous if abused.
When abused, these drugs could in fact interfere with your ability to do your job safely, and that is not a risk an airline (or the DOT) is willing to take. If you would like to learn more about this or think you might need assistance, please reach out to the Flight Attendant Drug and Alcohol Program directly.
If you’re considering becoming a flight attendant, make sure to take a look at some of our other articles that cover the requirements to be hired as well as the the drug testing policies of airlines and the FAA for flight attendants.