CJO and unscheduled drug use on SF-86

Hey everyone,

I wanted to post my thoughts here in hopes that someone can give me some clarity.

I applied for a job with the DoD/NSA back in February. Covid happened. Fast forward to June, it try for the first time a inhalent whose street slang is “poppers”. I got this from a sex shop which marketed it as a sexual stimulator. Thinking it was over the counter, I assumed its use was okay. I use this a couple times a month while I am having sex and a once or twice by myself to see what it was like (i stopped using it cause it made my head hurt and i didn’t like the way it made me feel. Fast forward to Late September I get a CJO from the NSA. It has been my dream to work for the government. There is honestly no better calling than to serve and protect your country in my opinion…

When i fill out my SF-86, i think I will mark it down as an inhalent, but the thing is - its not illegal at all. I read the article on clearancejob and the take that I got from that was that I am at will of the adjudicator. Once i figured out that these were not illegal, but kind of frowned upon, i immediately stopped because I want to work for the NSA and serve my country. I think my main issue is that the use was infrequent over a 3 month period and it was so recent.

I am going for a TS/SCI with a fullscope polygraph. Based on what I have said, what are my chances (when i disclose everything) that I will pass and get my FJO and actually start my federal career with my clearance?

Thank you all for your time.

That article you cited includes the following:

I’m not sure how they can nail you for using a legal substance, especially such limited use, but that article says they are concerned about it.

I know, and it has me nervous. I’m curious as to if anyone has had a similar experience with this. Or if anyone has any insight. I know at this point I’m at will of the adjudicator.

I had a massive double cheeseburger with chili fries and washed it down with a milkshake and a couple of Red Bulls.

That’s pretty poor judgment… should I self-report?


How many uses did it take before you decided it made your head hurt?


Thank you for being extremely not helpful.

So what was the outcome? Was the use of poppers a problem?