Drug use as a teenager

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jonathan46, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. jonathan46

    jonathan46 New Member

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    As a high schooler I used marijuana an average of once a month with friends, experimented with adderal a handful of times (about 10), and used nicotine heavily for about a year as I was addicted (through a vape; I’ve never touched a cigarette). However I no longer use any of these substances and certainly don’t plan to in the future. Despite this I was able to maintain very good grades in consistently high level courses and had many extracurriculars (300+ community service hours and multiple internships). I am also an athlete and was a above average player in football, lacrosse and track. I believe that I am qualified for the USNA, USAFA, USMA, and other selective colleges because of my grades and extracurriculars and would hate for this to disqualify me. How will these things effect my application to these colleges? As well I know this isn’t the right forum for this but if anyone knows how this would effect me if I wanted to work for a government program like the FBI or CIA since I know they ask about this on the polygraph. I would be very dissapointed to hear that because of things I did as a teenager I am disqualified to attend these universities or be employed with the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    I would expect that the level of drug use that you describe would not be considered “experimental” by any of the waiver authorities. It would be disqualifying. The only way to find out is to apply and see what happens.

    Stealth_81
     
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  3. jonathan46

    jonathan46 New Member

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    As in this would disqualify me from attending the military academies or being employed at a government agency?
     
  4. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Yes to both. A DQ is not the kiss of death, however. A DQ can happen based solely upon an answer on an application. It is up to the Service Academy or other government agency to determine whether or not you will be considered for a waiver for that DQ.

    You will be competing with people who did none of that. They may appear pure as the driven snow compared to you - but as Stealth_81 says - you won't know unless you try.
     
  5. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    + 1 ... The most important thing is to TELL THE TRUTH. Life is full of consequences -- but the consequences are a lot worse if you lie. You will get the question in a variety of contexts, and if successful, will be subject to a pretty thorough background investigation. Your answer must be consistent throughout, and its a whole lot easier to be consistent with the truth. Don't sugar coat -- address the issue straight up, characterize it as youthful indiscretion or experimenting, and let the chips fall the way they fall.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Some of the answer could - I emphasize that word - depend on your age when you used and how long you’ve been clean. Quitting at age 15 and being clean 2 years is better than quitting 3 weeks ago.

    One of the concerns “the government” will have is whether you’ve truly quit. Thus, give some thought to answering (to them, not us) what caused you to change your ways and how are you confident you won’t slip back.
     
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  7. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I would stress what THparent is saying regarding the waivers. USAFA and USNA may decide not to waive, but USMA may decide to waive that DQ. It is not necessarily all branches say no to the waiver.
    ~ IE look at color vision deficiency. USNA is notorious for very few waivers, whereas USAFA and USMA offer more waivers that medical condition.

    I would also agree that it is VERY important to be upfront and honest from the get go. There have been posters here on this site that because they feared they would get DQd for marijuana use they shaded the numbers they tried when answering their DoDMERB. Well fast forward 3 - 4 yrs you are going for your commissioning exam and your security clearance, now you can't recall that you shaded the number back in HS so you go with the "true" number which is higher than what you reported earlier. The problem is the military now looks back at the number you said in HS and goes....UM, if you experimented with MJ 5 times in HS (DoDMERB SA exam) and now you say 10 times, that means you either lied (BIG NO NO) or used while you were a cadet (ANOTHER BIG NO NO). They don't know the answer either way, but either way it is grounds for dis-enrollment.
    ~~ I know of 2 or 3 on this site that were disenrolled for that exact scenario.
    ~~~1 voluntarily came clean to their unit (AFROTC) and it was they shaded the number for the HSSP DoDMERB exam, but now for their exit they wanted to be honest. It was a nominal number, but HQAFROTC disenrolled them for LYING on the original DoDMERB.

    Additionally security clearances are only valid for 5 yrs. They will interview several people that are not family and the interview is with a federal agent that lasts about 30 mins per interview. One of the questions they will be asked is if they know if you ever took any illegal drugs? If they say yes, they will ask when was the last time they knew you did this? They will match this up to your answers on that clearance questionnaire (which is 60+ pages) If you say 2015, and they say 2017 than there could be issues for you getting your clearance, not saying you won't get it, just saying they may delve deeper into your background.
     
  8. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    I'll add a little about the three letter agencies. I live in the DC AOR if you will, actually just through the forest from Quantico, and am neighbors with an HR administrator for DEA, a big wig with ICE, and an instructor/HRT FBI dude. Since my son on one day loves the Marine Corps, and the next day talks about getting out, I've spoken with each of my neighbors about him getting employment in their organizations. My boy has been in the operational forces seven straight years and is again currently away from the flag pole.

    I surmise my boy would be a lock for the jobs which you aspire due to his experience and education. Those jobs have numerous applicants with exemplary qualifications which you do not. As far as the question about admission to the academies, I don't know but believe that the US has bunches of young people with crazy over the top qualifications. Good luck though. Apply, give it a try.
     
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  9. jonathan46

    jonathan46 New Member

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    Some background information: all of those drug usages were between 9th and 10th grade.
     
  10. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    Please, whatever you decide, DO NOT LIE!!! While at a CVW, I met another drag who appeared to be a natural born leader, very intelligent, athletically gifted, pretty much everything a service Academy would want in a candidate. However, later on he openly admitted to me and was proud of the fact that he smokes weed daily. Then he continued to say that he would without a doubt lie on the SA application. I’m praying DODMERB will catch him lying. When I think of future military leaders of this country, liars don’t come to mind. Please remember, honesty is always the best policy. Good luck!
     
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  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If a SA is what you want apply. Be truthful. The young man who bragged... My guess is he is probably lying about the daily use. But if it’s the truth a SA is probably not the right place for him. It’s usually not DoDMERB that will probably catch someone, it’s the background check for the clearance if they get appointed. They will talk to neighbors, friends and all kinds of people.
     
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  12. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    DoDMERB doesn’t perform drug tests? Tell me more about these background checks. Will the respected SA revoke the appointment for a mistruth?
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    ^^^^ DoDMERB follows the Peter Paul/Almond Joy philosophy of drug testing. Sometimes DoDMERB does a urinalysis... sometimes they don't. There is certainly unannounced random testing done at an SA and for active duty personnel.

    If they find out you lied before attending, then yes they will probably revoke an appointment. If they find out prior to commissioning, and there will be a security check done prior to commissioning, then you will probably not be commissioned. If they find out later during a security check for a new job or rank, you'll may be drummed out. In any case the consequences will be far from pleasant, and you will wish you had told the truth to begin with.

    Always be truthful and you'll have nothing to fear.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    The question should not only be will they, BUT could they? In either situation the answer is YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Additionally, depending when this comes to light they could also hit you with the bill too! IOWS, it comes to light your senior yr at an SA or ROTC cadet (scholarship) they can turn and say YOU LIED and now owe us X thousands of dollars to pay back your education.
    ~ Yep, that has happened.
     
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    DoDMERB doesn’t always do a urinalysis. If you haven’t done drugs since 10th grade you will be good. If you google SF86 forum or military Secret clearance, you will see what kind of background check will be conducted once appointed. This form is filled out once appointed and the investigation takes sometime to complete. You will hold a secret clearance as a Mid. For many this gets upgraded after commissioning to Top Secret. It’s not s big deal if you have told the truth and have nothing to hide. If someone like this young man says he hasn’t done drugs and then during the investigation they talk to his say his neighbors and they say he is a pot head that could lead to trouble. I know in the USMC an officer must have a secret clearance or they are discharged. I believe it’s the same in the Navy. Generally drug use, DUIs, and debt tend to be the focal points of investigations.
     
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  16. jonathan46

    jonathan46 New Member

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    So if I haven’t used these drugs since 10th grade and admit to using them I likely won’t be disqualified? My explanation is my father died and I used these to sort of cope and became a bit reckless for a while before I got my head straight.
     
  17. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    How it works is that you would first do your DoDMERB questionnaire and answer the drug-related questions (as honestly as you can).

    Then, DoDMERB would disqualify you based on your answers. DoDMERB has no authority to decide not to DQ you. They follow their protocol and if you answer yes to certain questions then you are DQ’d.

    However, then each of the waiver authorities (each Academy and ROTC program has their own) will decide whether they will pursue a waiver for you to the DQ. If they like your application and you are a desired candidate then they will pursue the waiver. So, you may be DQ’d for some programs and waived for others.

    There’s no way to tell until you go through the process

    Stealth_81
     
  18. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    None of us know if you will be Q or DQ. I believe you will also answer this on your application too. If you want to go to USNA the only way you will find out is to apply.
     
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  19. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    In the end, in USNA's eyes, this is a character/Admissions issue, not a medical issue. USNA uses a Character Board to decide issues such as yours (and others, such as alcohol, petty crimes, etc). If memory serves, you will be asked to provide written information regarding your situation. I don't know exactly what is asked but essentially they are trying to decide whether the problem has stopped and whether it is likely to recur.

    The key is that you stay away from drugs, alcohol, school conduct issues, etc. from now going forward. You can't change your past, but you can make sure you are a changed person for your future. Not just for USNA, BTW, but for the benefit of your life in general.

    As Hoops said, no one can tell you what will happen. I can tell you that, recurrence of a drug issue in your senior year of h.s. and beyond (even one time) will almost certainly be fatal to your application as it will suggest you can't/don't want to quit.
     
  20. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    I have read these stories and they are heart wrenching. I CANNOT imagine, after investing so much of oneself, to have it end this way based upon a lie. Or omission of truth. Or “shading” (that’s a new one for me).

    There is no other choice than to be honest, or the consequences could be phenomenal. I don’t know the dollar amount to be repaid should it happen but it’s going to be a LOT.

    As far as what you keep asking: if it’s a DQ or not, for whatever reason it happened, only the SA knows the ultimate answer to that. As stated, first hurdle would be YES...a DQ from DODMRB. And then the SA May or may not say “but we want him/her anyway” bc it’s up to them. Pretty straight forward. It’s up to them. You would have to ask them. And the way to do that is apply. No one here knows. And it’s not straight forward with the SA either (as I understand. No inside knowledge at all). They decide on a case by case basis. Each person appointed has different hurdles to clear to glean that appointment (how competitive is your district is a big one). So one candidate who has xxx as a part of their application may get an appointment, and another with that same xxx may not. The SA decides.

    In my DS’s first letter home, he was writing about how lucky and blessed he felt to be there despite the “suck”. Bc he remembers what the Commandant of Midshipman told them: that for every one of you here, 15 (wonderfully qualified-added) applicants were turned down. They pick who they want, and if your the one? You get an offer. But you have to ask them. And you must be honest.

    What IS the repay amount?? Someone maybe knows that number