I am interested in applying to the CIA but my previous drug use is a concern that I would like some advice on.
I recently returned to the US after living in Europe for the last decade, where over the last few years I fairly regularly took drugs (coke, weed, MDMA, ketamine) on nights out. I would state that I have never had any substance abuse issues and had no problem stopping all drug use when I returned to the US.
Nearly all of the previous posts here are regarding marijuana only use and it looks like I would be classifed as a heavy drug user, is there any point of me ever applying? Even after 2-3 years of complete abstinence?
To add, I have no criminal record anywhere and have never had any financial or legal issues. I am also in my mid-20s.
Ketamine? Yow that’s pretty exotic. For those of you who did not grow up in California it is an anesthetic… for animals. You know like Sernylan (I’ll leave that one as an exercise for the student).
I think the regular drug use is a problem… also living overseas for an extended period is going to make your case more complicated. Of course for some jobs at CIA they look for folks with experience living overseas so there is also that side of it.
Your chances would be better after 2-3 years of complete abstinence along with solid employment or academic history. If by some chance you are proficient in some critical language they may be interested enough to take a look at you.
Concur Squirrel. However, an effective presentation of the situation possibly changes how it is viewed. Hear me out: flaunting known laws in the US, whilst here clearly indicates one is not encumbered by “rules of society.” Would they follow rules of the Agency? If there is unknown to the Agency non legal stuff in your history…you would pose a vulnerability if one blackmailed you and your clearance, job, mortgage and family are now at risk. Trust me, you get a deep scrub on your life. A very deep dive. Plus at least 2 polygraphs lasting 4 to 5 hours each, and psychology reviews. But…if you lived as an ex-pat for a long time and the majority of drug use was legal there…it might be viewed differently. Fairly certain Ketamine, oddly a party drug but very much a strong “conscious sedative” and animal tranquilizer was legal, but was any of your persistent use legal over there? The staid bureaucracy of the Agency will resist interpreting your use any differently than others. But as Squirrel suggested a language, or knowledge of back alley networks, clubs, drugs, sources…may be of value that trades off normal standards. I’d believe 2 to 3 years would be required but if you present your skill up front…they may feel it brings value, not risk.
Your unique travels…UK passport…may very well be desirable enough to “look the other way”. It doesn’t excuse it but if they need your comfort transiting multiple countries…it can be a good thing. I wouldn’t think generically applying helps but if you spoke to a specific recruiter, searching for a specific candidate…you could.
This is not going to happen. What makes you think that you have what it takes to make it through the application process? Based on what you have written here I haven’t seen one desirable trait for any employer.
I know someone who had a 3 year old dui and stopped using alcohol after the dui, no drug use. She was told to take a hike because of the dui.
I’ve submitted successfully for people with 2 past DUIs. How much drug use, what type, and what age all come into play as well. Throw in questionable credit and you have a trifecta of issues needing distance between them and that period.
For the CIA, that type of pattern could be very problematic I’d say. For other agencies, much less so.