Drug Involvement Advice

Need some advice. Currently in the process of interviewing for a job that requires a TS clearance. I have disclosed all previous drug history on the SF-86. I was in the Army from 2008-2014 and deployed to Iraq in 2011. I think I had a secret clearance when I enlisted, but I think it was inactive when I returned from Iraq (not 100% sure on that). In 2013, I tried steroids, the only drug I’ve ever used in my life and I deeply regret it. How will this affect my eligibility for a TS clearance since I think I previously held a Secret? Thanks.

There are a lot of factors that come into play, but the fact that it has been about four years since this incident is positive. I don’t know how steroids are treated overall but I suppose it is considered abuse of a prescription drug.

I suspect that during the investigation they will want to know things like how much, how often, and where did you get them. Maybe somebody else on this forum knows about the particulars of steroid use and how it may or may not be treated differently from marijuana or other illegal drug use.

Thanks for your insight, I guess to clarify. My major concern is the fact that I previously held a secret clearance. Do you know if that typically will make matters worse?

It doesn’t help, but I’m not sure it is a disqualifier. I really don’t know the particular areas of concern regarding steroid use, other than using a drug that has not been prescribed for you.

Thanks for your replies. Fingers crossed.

I think there’s a radical difference between a legal drug used without an Rx and illegal drugs. And steroids are not narcotics so it’s even less of a concern than some opioid Rx. Steroids are used for healing of the body, and muscle repair, and have no impact on psychological functioning and no effect on judgment, reliability, or ability to hold confidence. Anecdotal stuff like roid rage not withstanding. If it were me explaining this in a Subject interview I would emphasize how the use of steroids was for muscle healing from the extreme physical demands at the time.

You make good points. However, I believe there is a question about unauthorized use of prescription drugs, so I guess that is why it is potential concern.

any other insight from anyone on the fact that I may have help an inactive secret clearance when I used steroids? how will this affect trying to obtain a TS?

Steroid use in the military (unless prescribed) is an illegal act. Using steroids while possessing your security clearance in the military is a huge no no and could impact your adjudication.

Using/possessing anabolic steroids without a prescription is illegal under federal law, so that could impact your adjudication.

Sorry, I can’t tell you that everything will be okay when you try for the TS.

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I’ve noticed that a lot of folks on this forum continually post similar questions about disclosed drug use on their TS/FS/lifestyle poly which was previously undisclosed on their secret. This prompted me to read cases on http://ogc.osd.mil/doha/industrial/ which revealed that most of the time it doesn’t work out favorably for the applicant. While I’d enjoy debating why people run this risk and expect it to work out in their favor I’m instead drawn to ask - If an applicant remains steadfast in their answers on the prior SF-86 (for secret) then fail the poly and never admit use is their secret revoked along with their TS? In other words, are they completely denied all access or just TS and allowed to retain secret?

Curious to know the answer to this as well. Also I wonder if these are would be from lying in initial secret clearance application or from time span difference from upgrade to TS.

Be as open and honest as you seem to have been here. They look at the whole person not one little moment in time to establish your risk. The fact you disclose it and take responsibility for the indiscretion about it goes a long way.

https://lessopen.com/projects/doha/case/01-07651-h1 - does it?

The adjudication standards are the same for any national security position. From my observation - loss of a TS loses the Secret also.

The statistic from DoD is that 98% of clearance denials are from issues not reported on the questionnaire or the Subject interview (DOD ADR Vol. 4).

You will read a lot of posters that encourage you to lie on the forms and to the investigator - but that is why I have a full-time job.

You are always better off telling the truth and coming clean than having the investigation find out about the issue.

I don’t condone lying; however, if the decision to lie has already been made by the applicant why would they then provide the government with evidence that they committed a felony (by admitting to the lie)? Furthermore, based on the precedent I’ve read, most of the time admitting to prior omissions or falsifications results in clearance revokation. So, sure, roll the dice (weighted in the governments favor), be honest, and likely lose your job, security clearance and provide a U.S. attorney with a slam dunk criminal case against you!

Talking about this makes me wonder how 5th amendment privilege applies… Should be an insightful topic to research!