Concealed past drug use on SF-85P - should I come clean?

I know I screwed up, but bear with me. I recently applied and received a conditional offer for my first job out of college with the federal government - doesn’t require a security clearance, but considered “public trust”.

On the SF-85P I completed, I did not list any past drug use. This was not the truth. I used marijuana occasionally in college (no more than once or twice a month, as recently as three months ago) as well as LSD once with friends a few years ago. I lied because I was afraid that any recent drug use would lead to a denial.

The background check is in its early stages: I just submitted the e-QIP and my job isn’t scheduled to start for several weeks. I have felt awful about lying and want to come clean, but would admitting it at this point disqualify me anyway? Any advice - including telling me that I’m an idiot - is welcome.

If you just submitted the e-QIP I would call your security department and tell them you made several mistakes on it and that you need to re-submit. Maybe they’ll be able to send it back if the investigation is still in its very early stages. It will look a lot better if the investigation starts with that information disclosed on the forms vs. you telling the investigator during an interview.

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Just keeping it real as the kids say and s a former adjudicator, I would discontinue you for drug use and lying if you came through my agency. I would absolutely tell you to tell the truth, but just know there’s a STRONG possibility that you will be discontinued. There’s no justifiable reason that would excuse lying to an investigator and/or lying on federal documents. Good luck

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Hi all - I got an email that someone had replied to my thread and thought I’d post an update. I did inform my agency that I had failed to list instances of past drug use on my SF-85P. They asked me to resubmit a corrected version, which I did.

A few days later, my HR representative informed me that I wouldn’t be cleared to work until after the completion of the full background investigation, which would take 6-8 months. It wasn’t an outright denial, but the timeline wasn’t really practical as a recent college graduate - plus there was always the possibility that in the end I wouldn’t be approved for a public trust position. Ultimately things worked out as I wound up taking a different job in the private sector.

Thanks to everyone for the advice, and I guess I learned a valuable lesson about honesty when dealing with the federal government. Hopefully they will change their policies soon around the use of drugs legal under state law.

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