Obtaining Security Clearance

Drug and Alcohol Use and Your Security Clearance

If you’re applying for a security clearance and wonder how questions surrounding drug and alcohol use will affect your final decision, the answer is: It depends.

Not all forms of drug and alcohol use are the equal for purposes of a security clearance.   Generally, these behavioral instances aren’t necessarily a per se disqualification; however, they may be indicative of other unbecoming conduct. For example, drug and/or alcohol use are often coupled with other behavioral issues, whether it be criminal (DUI, theft, assault) or non-criminal (defaulting on debts, excessive spending).

In the end, the decision is more nuanced, and various factors surrounding the instance of drug and alcohol use will help to inform the final outcome.  Clear decisions on the individual’s clearance eligibility or employment suitability are often very difficult.

Read more here.

Comment Archive

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    In the middle of a week that consists of an absurd number of Public Trust ESIs for me – I’d like to shoot whoever put the “Supervisor is the same as employer” option on the 85P.

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    Happy Easter security clearance blog peeps.

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    Would I be denied a Secret Clearance for working for a DoD contractor? My biggest concern is pot, and the last time I smoked was 2 months ago. I smoked nearly daily for at least 15 years but have quit at times and quit recently for the clearance. No criminal record except for two weed related run ins in my teens. I have a masters, am employed, great credit, u.s. Citizen and I’m 32.

    What are my chances?

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    Oh and I disclosed everything, brutally honest.

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    Possible mitigating factors may include, expressed intent to not use in the future and dissociated from former users by moving toa different state for work?

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    I have submitted my SF86 and told all that I remembered at the time. It was terminated because of marijuana use was with in 12 months of the submission. My company is willing to resubmit after the 12 month period has passed. The issue is that after I recieved the termination letter I remembered about another drug encounter. I tried cocaine once more than two years ago and it was such a small amount (about as much as the lead of a pencil tip) I had forgotten about it until now. I am still waitting for the 12 month period to pass and I am wondering when is a good time to bring this to attention. Should I bring it up in the interview? Should I put it down on my next SF86? And if I change my SF86 to add in that once instance would it look like I lied on the first one? Should I bring this to my security officer’s attention ASAP or let the investigators handle it?