Mental Health and the MMC

I’ve read that some Mariners use prescription anti-depressants and are still issued their MMC.

  1. So clinical depression mitigated by Medication is okay?

  2. What about Bipolar?

  3. [Tough one] What about Suicide Ideation?

Suicide Ideation can go hand in hand with clinical depression. Is this an automatic disqualification or can a waiver be acceptable for this as well? USCG offers prevention programs and having an honest discussion. USCG active duty suicide attempt would mean automatic separation. Not sure how things work on the Merchant Marine side of the house.

Whatever the USCG is doing, it doesn’t work very well.

We have far too many nutcases onboard. And far too many people who are afraid to seek treatment or take beneficial medication for fear the USCG might find out. We also see too many guys who are taking far too many different prescription medications.

The urine tests don’t work very well either. The druggies know how to cheat on the urine tests. We still have far too many druggies. The DOT & USCG need to start requiring hair tests, and test for more different drugs, glue sniffing, etc. Drug testing definitely has a lot of room for improvement.


I think you would be surprised at how many mariners are on antidepressants and anti anxiety meds. Never seen one of them have a moment’s trouble getting their MMD’s. Plenty of problems if you have hearing issues, heart issues, diabetes, etc etc etc.


Jumping overboard doesn’t cost anyone a great deal of money, having to deal with problems created by the working conditions is very expensive.

Be very very careful what you ask for.

Personally, I would like to see every elected official, every aide or assistant to an elected official, every CEO of every defense contractor, and every lobbyist forced to take drug tests monthly. They should be held to the same standard as a wiper or steward.

On the other hand, we might have a far better world if every member of congress were made to smoke at least one medicinal joint before each committee meeting or before voting on any bill.

The Cheeto should be placed on a heavy dosage of Ritalin.


If The Government were serious about doing something about the drug problem, a drug test would be required for a driver’s license. I thought they were headed in that direction when they started drug tests for truck drivers. Drug testing all drivers would do more to stop drug use than all the rest of the entire war on drugs.

I agree width drug tests for all elected officials and government employees.

Drug testing all drivers will only lead to an explosion of unlicensed and uninsured drivers. Be careful what you ask for.

As long as being high is more pleasant than real life people are going to use “drugs” of one kind or another.


We already have an explosion of unlicensed and uninsured illegal immigrants, child support deadbeats, judgment debtors, and people who just refuse to buy insurance.

A lot of people would stop using drugs if it meant they couldn’t drive.

So what do you want? Police documentation checks and drug test stations at every other stoplight?

Papieren bitte …has already been tried and it didn’t turn out all that well.

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No, I do not want the police stopping anyone or doing anything. I just want annual drug hair tests with the possibility of random tests for a driver’s license. And of course monthly hair drug tests for a welfare or unemployment checks. If you want to test government employees, that’s fine with me. I’m tired of being one of the few people tested just for working.

Like I wrote before, be careful what you ask for. Just because you are fed up with living in a police state doesn’t mean that making everyone else suffer the same indignities will make your enjoyment of it any greater.

Remember that old saying about giving up liberty or rights in exchange for what you think is safety or security … I suggest you worry less about welfare and unemployment recipients and more about your own future liberty and the kind of country you want to live in. Start by studying the history of nations that do/did what you are asking for, it isn’t pretty.


Philosophically, I agree with you. I do not like the government invasion of privacy with drug tests, physicals, all these stupid certificates, the failed NMC license processing that takes forever, or routine traffic stops. I do not like the government allowing employers to do it either. However, we need to keep these druggies off the boat. I don’t want to share the road with them either. I’m also tired of paying taxes to support them so they can sit home or ride around taking drugs. I’m tired of expensive, but ineffective government programs that don’t accomplish anything, particularly the war on drugs.


Then please stop asking them to expand it.

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I say either drop it entirely, or make it work. I think that hair drug testing of all drivers might just “win” the war on drugs.


Someone who works 30 on 30 off lives a vastly different lifestyle than the average person. If that person experiences anxiety OFF the vessel, I see no reason why that person shouldn’t be entitled to take a medication OFF the vessel. If you think that lifestyle doesn’t contribute to anxiety in this way, you are fooling yourself. As many are aware, it is not easy to spend half the year or more away from home and naturally that can translate into mental health issues.

I agree that it would be better for mariners to be able to receive proper diagnosis and treatment for mental health, including prescription medications without fear that the USCG might find out and suspend their documents. There is no reason why mariners should not be able to take proper quantities of most prescription medications for some mental health issues whilst onboard. In fact, that is a good idea.

That would be much better than having them self diagnose or taking the wife’s prescription or street drugs while onboard as they do now.

Obviously, some mental health conditions and some treatments are unquestionably disqualifying for mariners.


That’s funny.

Posted this in another thread just now: