Fired for drug use...can I get a public trust?

After a stellar 25 year career with the DOD, I got fired for drug use in Aug 2022. Have not used since May 2022. Used meth for 4 months for severe pain out of desperation. Lost TS. Was not in a TS position for the past 5 years, just secret, no contact with any classified material. Would I be able to get a public trust clearance? I don’t know anything about public trust clearances. Also, what stays in JPAS or whatever it’s called now? Am I just going to be punished forever for a desperate mistake? Ugh. I just applied for a job with a major defense contractor that did not require a clearance I was overqualified for. I got through the first stage fast but was cut off very quickly after that. Could they see my clearance? I know y’all are probably going to beat me up about this, but it is what it is and I can’t find any answers on my own. Please help. Thanks.

You probably got revoked.

The use of drugs while holding any type of security (TS, secret, etc. doesn’t matter with this) clearance is one of those “have you EVER” questions, so, unless they modify or strike that question out in the future (very unlikely), you’ll have to disclose it in all future security clearance or public trust investigations for the rest of your cleared career. Ditto with regards to the revocation of your clearance as well.

And yes, your revocation will be visible to all US government agencies that you try to get cleared or a public trust with.

As for your interest in obtaining a public trust, attempting to do so after only one year out from all of that is probably a bridge too far for most agencies, especially since your case involved the use of a hard drug (meth). You’d be far better off holding off for at least a few years to get everything set onto the straight-and-narrow again before trying to reenter this world.

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Thanks much for your assistance. I spoke to an attorney and he said I can file a request for reconsideration after 12 months and I should do it even though there’s only about a 30-40% chance of approval. I’m not sure I want to do that though. It was one of the worst things that happened in my life and I am extremely embarrassed and ashamed of it. Every time I think of it I get a knot in my stomach, not sure I want to go through that again. He said it would be better to have a sponsor but who would sponsor me?? Even with all of my experience and reputation prior to this event, don’t think anyone would want to bother. If a reconsideration was approved I’m not sure what that does, can anyone share any insight on that? Thanks again.

If you are “extremely embarrassed and ashamed of it” then this will be seen as something that can be used against you for blackmail. If you regret the mistake but have learned from it and use the experience as an opportunity to help others then there is nothing to use as blackmail.


To be fair, the government does consider the likelihood of similar things happening in the future, and my conjecture is that OP is making it clear that he’s feeling embarrassed hence won’t happen again sort of thing. But yeah, with some of the past wrongs the best approach is to just “own up and move on” while stressing the personal growth and maturity angle.

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Yes, agreed. Thanks.

Just because I feel the way I do doesn’t mean I would allow it to be used to blackmail me, it’s already been disclosed. But I get what you are saying. I should be careful with the words I use, particularly in this matter. Thanks.