Kicking substance abuse and keeping a security clearance—can both be true? 


In 2021, 61.2 million people aged 12 and older engaged in illicit drug use in the past year. It is estimated that 1 in 8 adults struggle with alcohol and drug use disorders. In 2019, over 1.9 million Americans were admitted to rehabilitation centers. Research has shown that genetics, environmental factors, and mental health disorders may contribute to addiction.

Security clearance denials and revocations decisions posted online by the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals demonstrate that drug and alcohol issues are one of the top reasons for unfavorable adjudication after financial concerns. Many cases are from prior experimental or recreational drug use, while some cases involve serious and recent addictions.

To mitigate a person’s history of addiction, it requires tackling the substance abuse disorder by seeking help and resources. It is essential to demonstrate remission of the substance abuse disorder. Lastly, it is imperative to show a continued interest in remaining drug-free. This is demonstrated by actively seeking support in group therapy, therapy, and medication regimens.

If you have questions or concerns about your security clearance, contact the Office of Asya Hogue, Esq., at,, or call (904) 884-5891.