Thoughts on mitigation of several smaller issues

Hello. I am filling out an an eqip for a Q clearance and was wondering if you had any advice on mitigating some past issues. I am worried about the sum of the issues being a problem. Also, is potential mitigation applied before an SOR (preventing one from ever being sent) or after SOR?

Pot+edibles use approximately 12 times over period of 4 years during college+some grad school, ending six years ago
Debt of $700 went to collections 5 years ago during grad school, paid off soon after (not on credit report)
Magic mushroom use with ex gf once 5 years ago during grad school, no longer associate with her
Shared 1/2 dose of prescription xanax with a friend experiencing a panic attack 4 years ago (I naively thought this was covered under `intended use’) (during grad school)
Failure to file/pay city taxes of $400 last year in a new city (during first postdoc job starting 2 years ago ending a few months ago). I thought they were e-filed with the state + federal. I filed and paid upon my own discovery of the mistake last month

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Edits: clarification
Edit: added personal timelines

Make sure that you have documents showing that you paid your taxes. I am not sure how DOE will react to the drug use but there is nothing you can do about it now. I think that you have a chance, just be honest.

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@velcroTech, I’ve added some relevant personal timelines (college/grad school/postdoc). Let me know if this affects your opinion at all.

Just be honest and forthright with anything that falls within the scope of the investigation. The questions asked will have time restraints, for the most part.

Drugs- If the drug use was outside the time window, don’t list or mention it. Focus on the scope that they’re inquiring about. Just list on the form whatever falls into the scope and the investigator will ask for details around each use and you’ll just have to explain. That’s your chance to provide mitigating info.

The debt- it’s a positive that it’s not on the credit report anymore so you shouldn’t be asked about it but maybe bring proof that you’ve paid it off just in case. It’s always a good idea to get your credit report before filling out your forms so you know exactly what’s on there. We encounter people who are surprised by things all the time.

Taxes- there is a question on the form regarding failure to pay state and local taxes. I think it is an “ever” question although I can’t remember for sure. Answer it correctly in the form. The investigator will ask about it. Just be honest that it was a mistake and explain what happened. Definitely bring proof that you’ve paid them.


All of this came up in the interview and I received my clearance a few months later. This was way faster than I expected to receive the result. So this means things are speeding up these days…

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