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Alcoholism and LE

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Posted 11 months ago

 

Hey Everyone,


I just joined the site yesterday and mentioned in my introduction that I had a few questions about LE careers. One questions pertains to alcoholism and LE. 9 months ago I realized I had a problem with alcohol. I was drinking way too much for all the wrong reasons and I decided I needed to stop. I started going to AA meetings and have now been completely sober for all of those 9 months. I have no DUI's or felonies, but I did get caught with a fake ID when I was a freshman in college, but  I did some community service and they dropped the charges. Other than that my record is clean. I realized I had an issue and did everything I knew how to do to fix that and be a better person who can fully contribute to society and show up for the people who matter most. Law Enforcement is something I have been interested in my entire life and I understand that the job can be extremely stressful and difficult. I have also been told (by everyone that I've spoken to) that it is the most rewarding career they can think of. My question is this: WIll my past issues with alcohol affect my chances of not only being hired but actually doing the job as well? I appreciate any feedback you could offer and I apologize if a similar topic is posted elsewhere (I looked and didn't see anything). 


Anyways - thanks everyone and feel free to PM me or post back here if you have any more questions or comments. 


 


 

Texas02n_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

 There are many alcoholics (seriously doubt it if you could find an accurate number of exactly how many) and recovering alcoholics. Keep up with the AA meetings as they help as long as you participate. I think you might have a bigger issue with the possession of a fake ID. Yeah, you took your punishment but it still shows something on your character. Be prepared to explain that situation in interviews.


 


Good luck and welcome to Policelink.


 


 


"Niether fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds." Buddha

1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted 11 months ago

 

 I do not see it as an issue as long as it is kept under control. That being said, if you have an addictive type of personality you want to reconsider your choice of careers and let me explain why. Law enforcement is extremely stressful. You see, smell, touch ,hear, and yes even taste things you never thought existed. (You WILL taste a body which has been enclosed in a space for a period of time, the decomp is pretty overwhelming) things add up, we are only human. Human nature will put you in a place where you may find old habits to be attractive. Personally I am addicted to Pepsi (Pepsi Max actually) and find the taste and effervescence refreshing. Yes I do enjoy the taste of beer however I know when to call it quits (usually right before the blackout). I am kidding. The taste of beer is appealing however I can take it or leave it. I don't drink the brown liquor as it doesn't appeal to me. If you have a history of addiction (alcohol, smoking, pills, etc) they may not or MAY manifest themselves as the stress builds. Just my perspective.


You can't cure stupid.

Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

ajsdaddyBPD says ...



 I do not see it as an issue as long as it is kept under control. That being said, if you have an addictive type of personality you want to reconsider your choice of careers and let me explain why. Law enforcement is extremely stressful. You see, smell, touch ,hear, and yes even taste things you never thought existed. (You WILL taste a body which has been enclosed in a space for a period of time, the decomp is pretty overwhelming) things add up, we are only human. Human nature will put you in a place where you may find old habits to be attractive. Personally I am addicted to Pepsi (Pepsi Max actually) and find the taste and effervescence refreshing. Yes I do enjoy the taste of beer however I know when to call it quits (usually right before the blackout). I am kidding. The taste of beer is appealing however I can take it or leave it. I don't drink the brown liquor as it doesn't appeal to me. If you have a history of addiction (alcohol, smoking, pills, etc) they may not or MAY manifest themselves as the stress builds. Just my perspective.



Bump AJ!!


It's ok to have a drink to help relax and unwind from the stresses associated with this line of work. The problem starts when you "need" the drink in order function.


In GOD We Trust (All others get searched, then checked through NCIC)

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Rcsd04_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

 Just my two cents, You will be going up against other applicants that have no drinking problems or problems with fake id's or problems with the law. Just be aware of it if you do not get hired on. For every 1 spot open, 200 apply for it. 


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

White_shirt_max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

You are forgiven. Sin no more my son. Seriously, you need to discuss this with the agency you apply with. I had a friend who was a priest and he had an issue with wine. Many professions have booze issues. I am not sure it is the kiss of death. While chief I would not have considered you and would only consider those without booze issues. Axe the agency.

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

 Thanks for your honesty, everyone. Do you receommend I speak with the department before applying? 

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

 No need to bring it up prior to hiring.  However, there is a time and place for it during the hiring process.  Usually it is during the background investigation.  You need to think about how you will present it to the investigator though.  Explain what happened, did you take responsibility for your actions, why did it happen and what have you done so you will not repeat the mistake again in the future.  These are the usual course of questions brought about by most investigators.  Shows responsibility and character of the person.


We all make mistakes in life.  It is what we do after making that mistake that separates the ones with from the ones without integrity and/or character.  My department said it like this. . . .a bankruptcy would not necessarily keep you out.  However, how you handled it is what they are more concerned with.  Yes, there are some things that are unforgivable.  If my guess is correct, that simple misdemeanor shouldn't be one of them. . . .in most departments.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

373046_26738651698_2132900450_q_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

I thoroughly bump my friend Beowulf-7.I would NOT volunteer the information,but simply ,if brought up,please do be honest,as well as explaining what you have done to correct this problem..

Tribal_cat_tattoo__2__max50

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Rate This | Posted 11 months ago

 

ajsdaddyBPD says ...



 I do not see it as an issue as long as it is kept under control. That being said, if you have an addictive type of personality you want to reconsider your choice of careers and let me explain why. Law enforcement is extremely stressful. You see, smell, touch ,hear, and yes even taste things you never thought existed. (You WILL taste a body which has been enclosed in a space for a period of time, the decomp is pretty overwhelming) things add up, we are only human. Human nature will put you in a place where you may find old habits to be attractive. Personally I am addicted to Pepsi (Pepsi Max actually) and find the taste and effervescence refreshing. Yes I do enjoy the taste of beer however I know when to call it quits (usually right before the blackout). I am kidding. The taste of beer is appealing however I can take it or leave it. I don't drink the brown liquor as it doesn't appeal to me. If you have a history of addiction (alcohol, smoking, pills, etc) they may not or MAY manifest themselves as the stress builds. Just my perspective.



Bump ajs!  Your statement, "I do not see it as an issue as long as it is kept under control" is such a valid point.  People with addictive personalities find it hard to keep their addiction under control with a lot of stress in there in their life... and being in LE, I would imagine, can be extremely stressful.  With that being said, that type of stress may not be a trigger for the addiction.  In other words, a simple example: Money issues, having lots of bills, may cause someone to drink in this case, but a stressful, rewarding job may not.  I think it is up to the OP to do some research on what they can handle and not handle in life.  On the other hand, even if LE doesn't cause the OP to drink, and other stressers might bring out the addiction, or "bad habit", that is something to consider too.  I know someone right now who drinks all the time, not from their job, but other issues in their life which is causing that person to miss work, not work to their full potential, etc.  


"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

Blesk_max50

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Rate This | Posted 9 months ago

 

Congratulations on your sobriety!  I agree with what Beowulf_7 said.  I encourage you to continue going to AA and stay sober one day at a time.  I drank hard for years, and throughout the first 10 years of my LE career.  Over 10 years ago, I went to my agency and advised them that I needed help to stop drinking.  I had tried every way I could think of by myself, and ultimately always failed.  My agency was very supportive and I went off for treatment for a month.  I got active in AA and continue to be to this day.  By the grace of God, I have over 10 years of continuous sobriety and I have continued to have a great LE career.  As a recovering alcoholic, I have been able to deal with the stressors in LE better in sobriety than when I was drinking.  But in order to do that, I have to keep my sobriety first and not rest on my laurels.  Good luck with everything.  Set your goals and just be honest about your past when asked.  Let me know if you ever need anything.


 


 

373046_26738651698_2132900450_q_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted 9 months ago

 

Thank you AgustaK9Cop.I also did a one month stint in dry out in the thirteenth year of my twenty seven year career.Haven't touched a drink or tobacco since then.Was so sold on the program I became a lecturer/councilor.

Blesk_max50

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Rate This | Posted 9 months ago

 

That's awesome SE851.  That is my goal after retirement.  Working on my degree now.