TS Clearance and Drugs

I’ve received a tentative job offer and will soon be completing an SF86 for a TS clearance.

Marijuana: Weekly for about 3 years (Last use 6 months ago)
Adderall: 8 Times (Last Use 1 year ago)
Cocaine: Twice (Last Use 2 year ago)
Shrooms: Once (3 Years Ago

A year ago, I organized a drug safety workshop, ceased hard drug use, received Naloxone training, and assisted others with training. I quit marijuana use six months ago and now maintain healthier habits with a firm commitment to remain drug-free.

Given my situation, do I have any chance of being approved for my TS clearance? Any advice on how to mitigate previous usage? Will being open and honest help me in this situation?

Your last question concerns me, and perhaps I’m taking it the wrong way. Will being honest help you? The issue is are you being honest on your SF86? The only correct answer is “be honest” Yes the investigator wants to hear the who, what, when, where, why and what have you done to reduce the chances this will happen in the future. Yes, those conversations can be uncomfortable.

But heavens, do not try to lie about it, or cover it up. It always comes back to bite you.

Lying indicates that this information could be used against you. That is a big deal.

Think of it this way. Have an open/honest conversation with the investigator upfront at your first interview. OR, lie, wait a bit, and then have to explain yourself when the investigator comes back to you and asks about drug use, and why you lied about it.

As for your chances of being approved? I don’t know. Each case is unique and adjudicators look at all factors.


No cleared person in their right mind would give you advice on how to mitigate prior drug use that is required to be listed. That is intentional omission or concealment of a material fact, which is not only dishonest, but illegal. If you would intentionally lie or fudge facts on a security questionnaire, you should not have a job that requires a clearance, as that demonstrates that you have questionable honesty, integrity and judgement.

That being said, the investigation/interview process is very cut and dry. The investigator is not going to wag a finger in your face like a parent and judge you for your drug use. They are going to ask very straight forward questions (who, what, where, when, why) and the interview is your time to explain to them when/why you stopped, and the good steps you have done since then to not only prevent future use, but help others in the process. The adjudicators will read the whole report and base their decision on the big picture. It’s not advisable to downplay factual things that are required to be listed.

1 Like

So a couple of things. To “mitigate” means to make less severe or to lessen the gravity of an offense so someone in their “right mind” AND who has been there in the past could and is cleared should give you their “experience, strength, and hope”. Treatment first and foremost, active attendance in AA/NA or whatever program keeps you clean and sober for the rest of your God given life. Most importantly document your sobriety and note the fact (which a lot of people would disagree with) that you will never do these things again. and equally as important is time. time and distance from that life will be a big factor. I will say this, that six months to me as a person in long term recovery does not seem like enough time to evaluate a persons true sobriety but I have seen all sorts of people get cleared with much MUCH worse issues than I, and from what I read yours. However, every single case is very different and the one thing to remember is we the investigated and hopeful have to rely on the opinions of those utilizing the “guidelines” of judgement. HONESTY however, uncomfortable it may be is the only way forward. Being in recovery is an awesome blessing and you know recovery from substances is not the worst thing. There are those who have clearances that sit in our congress that support and are apart of some ruthless organizations and it baffles me. Good luck!

1 Like

Do i know you? Lol!!!

1 Like

If you are asking me if you know me… it’s possible that we all know each other…lol

1 Like

It is very likely! : )

1 Like

Actually i meant smcva, did you happen to be at a party sat night?? But yes brogan997 we probably all do! Lol

1 Like