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Consuming alcohol is an activity that many individuals participate in, especially as a social activity. Though most people have the ability to pace themselves and keep their alcohol consumption under control, other parties may have a more difficult time, especially when it comes to knowing when to stop or allowing themselves to end up in a harmful position due to their drinking.

As a member of the military or prospective military recruit, you likely understand that security clearance can play a significant role in your duties. However, if you have an alcohol dependence or abuse problem, your security clearance could face negative impacts, which could result in your military career coming to a standstill.

Signs of dependence and abuse

Many people with an alcohol problem often fail to realize that a problem exists. Unfortunately, this denial could easily result in their continually drinking too much and putting their safety and health at risk. You may be interested in factors that may indicate alcohol dependence, such as:

  • Struggling to know when to stop drinking
  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms from lack of alcohol
  • Alcohol cravings that could cause a relapse when trying to abstain
  • High tolerance levels

Though similar to alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse shows different signs. A person may still show the previously mentioned indicators, but they may also carry out harmful actions, including:

  • Drinking in excess though the consumption causes problems relating to work, legal issues or health
  • Consuming alcohol when it is dangerous to do so

When individuals have alcohol dependence or abuse issues, they may need to seek treatment.

Issues with security clearance

You may wonder why an alcohol problem could negatively affect military security clearance, but as mentioned, abuse could result in recurring problems at the workplace. Reasons that security concerns may arise in relation to alcohol issues include:

  • Negative effects on judgment
  • Reduction in ability to use discretion and exercise care
  • Increased risk of disclosing classified information
  • Representative of impulsive or hostile behaviors
  • Potential sign of psychological issues

Even if you do not necessarily fall into the category of being an alcoholic, your behavior while under the influence could still have negative impacts on security clearance.

If you have concerns over issues with your security clearance, you may wish to find out more information about this area of military law. Utilizing local Virginia legal resources may prove useful as you address any negative effects your military career could potentially face.