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Heavy alcohol use has been cited as a prevalent issue among U.S. military members for a number of years, during both active duty deployment and post combat periods. Much of the problem is attributed to psychological components of deployment and combat experiences, as well as post-traumatic stress upon return to home base. Members who are having difficulty coping may turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication.

Alcoholism can impact a military member’s security clearance if uncontrolled. It is especially dangerous for those involved in combat situations that require acute focus and concentration. Intoxication and its lingering effects can hinder decision-making abilities. It may also cause a person to act in a hostile manner or exhibit unusual, irrational thinking.

When heavy alcohol use by a military member has reached a level of concern, authorities may choose to suspend that member’s security clearance, so help can be obtained. Upon completion of a suitable rehabilitation program, the member may be allowed to again obtain security clearance.

If alcoholism has affected your security clearance, consulting with a military law attorney can help you better understand your options and what is expected of you to regain it. They can also provide access to resources that can help in long-term recovery, so that relapse does not happen. Losing a security clearance due to a problem with alcohol is stressful. Allow an attorney to help you when it is difficult to think clearly. Knowing someone is looking out for your best interests during a time when it would be all too easy to give up can make a big difference.