Past Drug Usage

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JDH
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Past Drug Usage

JDH
I am pursuing a B.S. in Forensic Science and have heard that if you have used drugs in the past, you're automatically disqualified. Is this true if you can pass a drug screen and honestly admit that you have tried drugs in the past but have not used them since making the decision to pursue this career?
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Re: Past Drug Usage

Wilson CSI
It all depends on how long ago you tried drugs and what kind of drugs you tried.  Most agencies are ok with an "experimental" use of marijuana that was done a few years before.  But a lot of agencies have a no tolerance policy toward hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc...

Be honest and upfront don't try to hide it because if you get hired and they find out about it then you will be fired.  
JDH
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Re: Past Drug Usage

JDH
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So, they generally always probe into your personal life about things like that?
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Re: Past Drug Usage

joseph958rauch
I'm currently a student or currently returning student in Specializing in Forensics. Actually I'm grateful for law enforcement are doing a background check on drug abuse. For those of us contemplating a federal job, Crime Scene investigators in crime labs or otherwise, we have to set the example for others.
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joseph958rauch
In reply to this post by JDH
My name is Joseph, and I'm also going into your field of expertise. I want to commend you for giving up this drug addiction, and going into this field. I wish you the best in getting your degree in this field, and don't give up on your search.
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Re: Past Drug Usage

Steve Staggs
Administrator
In reply to this post by JDH

JDH—

As a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist you will often be in a position to handle drugs and cash (sometimes very large quantities). You will also have to testify in court on these matters. It makes no sense for an agency to hire someone with drug or credit problems. That is the major reason agencies do background investigations on candidates.

That being said, if you have not used drugs for a significant time, or you have cleared up your credit problems, then most agencies will take that into consideration. Most everyone makes mistakes. The questions are: how big were the mistakes, what have you done to overcome the mistakes, and is it possible the mistakes will be repeated after hire.

The most important thing is to be truthful. You may have to take a polygraph examination. If you admit your mistakes before the background investigation and polygraph you have a chance. It you try to conceal your mistakes and are found out during the polygraph or background investigation you will be disqualified.

During the background investigation they will contact people who know you, and they are very good about finding people who know you that were not listed in your references. They will find out about past drug use. They will do a credit report and find out how you have handled your finances.

One thing you might want to do is identify the agency you might want to work for, and contact the person at the agency who does backgrounds. Tell that person your situation and see what they say and/or recommend.

JDH wrote
I am pursuing a B.S. in Forensic Science and have heard that if you have used drugs in the past, you're automatically disqualified. Is this true if you can pass a drug screen and honestly admit that you have tried drugs in the past but have not used them since making the decision to pursue this career?

—Steve

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Re: Past Drug Usage

Tlokinnon_3
In reply to this post by JDH
Post was informative. One of my friends also took opiate for almost 6 months but since he has taken treatment from opiate detox norfolk clinic he is now living a normal life without taking any kind of drugs. So I am sure he would be qualified for this position. I will suggest him to read this post.