SF86 Alcohol not under Section 23.1?

I’m about a month out from enlistment as a 21M with what I think is a pretty clean record. I am tidying any loose ends though at the moment. Credit reports, tax returns, etc.

I see that under Section 23.1 of the SF86 it asks about depressants. I have drank alcohol maybe 5 or 6 times in total, but Alcohol is a drug, a depressant at that. Should it not be listed under there? Or I guess is alcohol use so common they just don’t care as long as it’s not a recurring problem?

Alcohol and drugs are divided into two different sections on the form. It does not ask about alcohol under the drug section.

Yeah I understand. But alcohol is a drug. So why would you omit it from that list.

Because it’s not illegal?

You’re right. It specifically says illegally.

No alcohol is not a drug. At least not for the purpose of the SF86. (regardless of what the DARE program taught;I was a part of that program.). Folks do choose to self medicate with alcohol…but the alcohol questions are asked in reference to drinking and then to excess and the bad behavior associated with it. Treatment referrals, DUI’s, domestic disturbances, absenteeism, etc.


The National Institute of Drug Abuse classifies Alcohol as a drug. Narcon.org also classifies it as a drug as well as the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Alcohol is a known depressant. I now understand it’s only asking about illegal drugs, but alcohol is certainly still a drug.

Given your persistence on the subject, a better advice will be… consult your agency or facility security officer since the agency will be the one who will adjudicate your background investigation.

1 Like

Good luck with your career Tyler.

1 Like