Secret to TS upgrade past mistakes

Hi all,

I’m really worried and need some advice on what I should do. I worked as an intern for a defense contractor this past summer(17). I obtained a full S clearance. I went back for my senior year of college and made the absolute worst mistake of taking one prescription pill (Adderall) ONE time in November. Now I’ve returned to another contractor and need to up my clearance from S to TS. I plan on disclosing this as I need to. But am worried about keeping my current position / clearance. I don’t know what will happen and am very worried that my current clearance will be revoked and I will lose my new (and first) real job. I haven’t used anything since and have never done anything in the past.

Please advise as this is keeping me up at night and giving me major anxiety.


I am not an adjudicator, but admitting to it, taking responsibility and showing remorse are the best moves. It is an isolated incident, which is a good mitigating factor.

To give additional detail. I need the clearance bump due to a change in the program. I have been working for 4 months now w/ my current clearance.

Adderal isn’t illegal and unless you were “abusing” prescription drugs, you shouldn’t be worried.

You do need to report this . . . As with most issues, the cover up is far worse than the crime. I suspect that you are in for a poly and it WILL show up that you are hiding something.

You clearly haven’t made the process easy. You might have to fight a little bit to get over this but you should, in the end, be OK.

I don’t have to take a poly. Do you think I will lose my current S clearance due to this? I’m really worried about losing my job.


So it sounds like you took the drug while possessing a clearance. This is a self reporting requirement. If you did not report it until now, the fact that you withheld the information for so long is perhaps more concerning than taking the drug itself.

Nobody can really answer that question. There are too many details missing. Why did you take it? What was the setting? Who did you use it with? Do they still misuse drugs? What are you doing to avoid that from happening again? For example, you took a pill while intoxicated at a party. You got the pill from a friend. You use it because you were curious. You still continue to drink and still hang out with all the same people. That doesn’t look good. But, if you took your wife’s tylenol 3 because you hurt your shoulder and it hurt at 3am. Then went to the doctor the next day and got a prescription for the same meds…probably not a reason to pull a clearance. I don’t do adjudications, but just showing how all the details matter more than just the fact that you took 1 pill.

Hi. Thanks for the replies. As to respond to Investigator’s prompt. It was at a social event in college. I didn’t know it was adderall at the time and was told it was Tylenol I should’ve added in my original post. I went home that night after being told it wasn’t such. I’ve moved far away from college and no longer keep in contact with those folks

There are self reporting requirements. The fact that you waited so long to report is a problem

Which is precisely what I suspect is being implied in his question, like so many of the ambiguously worded inquiries submitted on this site!

From what I can tell, the OP’s clearance was not active at the time of the incident. He was at school, not working his internship.

I’m not sure that this makes a difference as far as reporting goes. Who would he have reported to?