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Medical History of Opiate Dependance

Hello, everyone.

Following my psychometric test, I have been filling out my medical forms.
I am extremely concerned that some of my medical history will bar from progressing any further.
Between the ages of 20 and 26 I was living with a heroin addiction. I am almost 29 now. I attended rehab in early 2018 and have been clean ever since.
I maintained a very low dose of methadone for a short time and have passed every drugs test given to me. Since rehab I have completed a college course, attend the gym 3 or 4 times a week for 90 mins at a time doing cardio and strength training and will also be training at a local university's fencing club once it starts back in September.
I am in better health and fitness now than I have ever been and I am confident that my own doctor would give me his support, but will the facts of my history be a bar to me joining regardless of where I am at currently?
I think, in my heart I know the answer, but I don't want to resign myself without trying or knowing for sure, because I have wanted to be a Navy sailor for many years.
Will it ultimately be up to the discretion of a Navy doctor or recruitment officer?
Is it possible that I could still enlist if I am able to somehow prove that I have turned myself around?

Thanks, everyone.
 

D108

Midshipman
Hello, everyone.

Following my psychometric test, I have been filling out my medical forms.
I am extremely concerned that some of my medical history will bar from progressing any further.
Between the ages of 20 and 26 I was living with a heroin addiction. I am almost 29 now. I attended rehab in early 2018 and have been clean ever since.
I maintained a very low dose of methadone for a short time and have passed every drugs test given to me. Since rehab I have completed a college course, attend the gym 3 or 4 times a week for 90 mins at a time doing cardio and strength training and will also be training at a local university's fencing club once it starts back in September.
I am in better health and fitness now than I have ever been and I am confident that my own doctor would give me his support, but will the facts of my history be a bar to me joining regardless of where I am at currently?
I think, in my heart I know the answer, but I don't want to resign myself without trying or knowing for sure, because I have wanted to be a Navy sailor for many years.
Will it ultimately be up to the discretion of a Navy doctor or recruitment officer?
Is it possible that I could still enlist if I am able to somehow prove that I have turned myself around?

Thanks, everyone.

Well done for turning yourself around mate, fantastic effort


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Probably on the right track!!

The forces have enough of a time dealing with folk acquiring a taste for drugs without prior training in it's use!!!!!

I feared as much. I will still have to forge ahead with my application and offer full disclosure, and try to give the best account of myself that I can.
I no longer have a taste for drugs, and if anything, it is probably more accurate to say I have a distaste for them, as they have pretty much destroyed my life, and I have had to work very hard to try and rebuild it.
Getting off drugs themselves is the easy bit. It's repairing all the damage done to education, career, body and quality of life that is the hard part.
If the Navy will not accept me, is it possible I may be able to find employment with the RFA, as I understand their requirements to be much less stringent?
 

Waspie

War Hero
I'll still have to forge ahead with my application, but without expectation.
If anything, it could be said I have a distaste


I feared as much. I will still have to forge ahead with my application and offer full disclosure, and try to give the best account of myself that I can.
I no longer have a taste for drugs, and if anything, it is probably more accurate to say I have a distaste for them, as they have pretty much destroyed my life, and I have had to work very hard to try and rebuild it.
Getting off drugs themselves is the easy bit. It's repairing all the damage done to education, career, body and quality of life that is the hard part.
If the Navy will not accept me, is it possible I may be able to find employment with the RFA, as I understand their requirements to be much less stringent?

Best route, but they would find out anyway if it's on your medical records!!!
 

pompeyexpat

War Hero
There’s nobody on here qualified to give you a definitive answer; but given the seemingly trivial things in a persons medical history that seem to prevent them joining I’d be surprised if it wasn’t an issue. But if I was you I’d push on regardless until someone actually qualified to make the decision says yes or no.

Regardless; well done on turning your life around. That’s no mean achievement.
 

slim

War Hero
It must have been extremely difficult to quit drugs.
Personally I wouldn't expect any of the services RFA included to welcome you.
However with your experience it may be that you would be a great help to others as a counsellor for one of the drug rehabilitation services
 

soleil

War Hero
PDV

That is a tremendous achievement, it's something of which you can be really proud - I can imagine how hard it must have been .

Have sent you a quick message.
 

SeaBiscuit

Midshipman
They are supposed to evaluate everyone on their merits, and having overcome a heroin addiction is no different than any other previous adverse life event- the main thing is that you sorted yourself out. They can only say no, but I'd make the case that everyone has their own set of circumstances and environments to navigate, and nobody can judge you for the way your life turned out. Drug addiction is a serious problem in society, and being ensnared into that shouldn't ruin your future, nor define who you are forever. You'll just have to work harder.

It's who you are today that matters. Good luck and as Pompeyexpat said, it's no small thing to quit the most addictive drug in the world.

Never let anyone tell you that the forces isn't for you. Bring the right attitude, be trustworthy and work hard, and most of all leave your bullshit and previous life at the gate.

Everyone deserves a second chance, and no-one here should be writing anybody off. That's what basic training is for- everyone has to meet the same standard. I don't care about anyone's past, as long as they've done the same hard work. You pass out- you pass out. End of story, and welcome to the club. My only advice is don't half-arse it. You'll be scrutinised more than anyone else. You'll have to be not just good, but outstanding. Think long and hard before trying to get in, because you'll have to fight tooth and nail and some will look for any excuse to bin you.

Think what failure would mean to you- and don't even apply unless you are certain you're ready for it.


Trust me- wearing the uniform is the best high you'll ever experience.
 

RabC

MIA
They are supposed to evaluate everyone on their merits, and having overcome a heroin addiction is no different than any other previous adverse life event- the main thing is that you sorted yourself out. They can only say no, but I'd make the case that everyone has their own set of circumstances and environments to navigate, and nobody can judge you for the way your life turned out. Drug addiction is a serious problem in society, and being ensnared into that shouldn't ruin your future, nor define who you are forever. You'll just have to work harder.

It's who you are today that matters. Good luck and as Pompeyexpat said, it's no small thing to quit the most addictive drug in the world.

Never let anyone tell you that the forces isn't for you. Bring the right attitude, be trustworthy and work hard, and most of all leave your bullshit and previous life at the gate.

Everyone deserves a second chance, and no-one here should be writing anybody off. That's what basic training is for- everyone has to meet the same standard. I don't care about anyone's past, as long as they've done the same hard work. You pass out- you pass out. End of story, and welcome to the club. My only advice is don't half-arse it. You'll be scrutinised more than anyone else. You'll have to be not just good, but outstanding. Think long and hard before trying to get in, because you'll have to fight tooth and nail and some will look for any excuse to bin you.

Think what failure would mean to you- and don't even apply unless you are certain you're ready for it.


Trust me- wearing the uniform is the best high you'll ever experience.
Sorry remind me what your military experience is?
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Another one who isn't yet in uniform but has all the answers.

This is direct from the recruiiting policy.

Drug and Substance Misuse
The short, medium and long-term effects of the misuse of either illegal drugs or substances or legally obtained
drugs or substances can have a damaging impact on mental and physical fitness and health. Drug or Substance
misuse constitutes a direct threat to the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces; the security and safety of
Service personnel; and, potentially, the security and safety of the civilians whom they protect. Illegal misuse of
drugs or substances by Service personnel also damages the reputation and standing of the Service. For all of
these reasons, the misuse of drugs or substances is not tolerated within the Naval Service. The Naval Service
recognise, however, that drug or substance misuse is increasingly common in civilian life, particularly among the
young, and that you may have misused drugs or substances yourself in the past. This will not necessarily prevent
you from joining, as all applications are considered individually. Acceptance into the Services will depend on the
frequency of use and the class and type of drug or substance that has been misused. Criminal convictions for
trafficking or supply of any class of drug or substance will bar entry
 

soleil

War Hero
Piter

When there is something on a candidate's medical record which requires clarification, as would be the case in your instance, the application is referred to SMO(SE), the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry), for a decision on whether the applicant can proceed with an application.

At this juncture, SMO(SE) considers input from various sources so that the decision can be made in the round, so to speak. There would be relevant professionals from your care who would be able to provide information at this point.

The criteria for medical eligibility as far as applications to join the Armed Forces are concerned are contained in a document called JSP950. I've consulted the relevant section and it says the following:

*****

Mental and Behavioural Disorder due to Psychoactive Substances (F10-F19)

13. Illicit Drugs.

Discovery of the use of any illicit drugs is not a clinical matter per se. It becomes a clinical matter when illness, most particularly drug dependence, has occurred.

Examining medical officers are not obliged to inform recruiting staff if a history of substance abuse not resulting in clinical illness is volunteered during the course of an examination.

14. Drugs.

Candidates with current drug related health problems are UNFIT.

Before accepting anyone with a previous history of drug-related health problems, referral to the single Service occupational physician responsible for Service entry is recommended as the risk of relapse must be carefully considered.

a. Candidates in whom there is evidence of drug dependence in the 3 years prior to application are normally graded UNFIT.

If there is unequivocal evidence from an addiction clinic that the candidate has been clean for more than 3 years prior to application then recruitment may be permitted.

b. Candidates that have been diagnosed with harmful use of drugs not amounting to drug dependence in the 2 years prior to application are normally graded UNFIT.

If there is good evidence in the candidate’s medical history that the individual has been clean and symptom free for more than 2 years prior to application with no ongoing treatment, then recruitment may be permitted.

c. A history of infrequent recreational use without evidence of damage to health is not a medical bar to entry.

*****

I've tried to work out how the above would apply to you and it seems to me that the 3 years benchmark might well come into play, although I can't be sure. If it does, what may well happen is that you will be declared Temporarily Medically Unfit (TMU) until the spring of next year, at which point your application will start to go forward again.

This would all be decided by SMO(SE), of course.

If there were a slight delay, I know that this would be disappointing, but I wouldn't let yourself be deterred. I know that your GCSE Maths and English could do with being retaken to move you up to the grade you need and this short hiatus could give you the time to do that; this would be of help to you in the long run.

The next 6 months could help you with your fitness too. I was interested to see that you are a fencer and will be at a club come the autumn - you could really progress with your sport while you are waiting to join. We could find out about fencers already serving, I know we will be able to find them somewhere and see whether they participate in tournaments etc.

Anyway, the decision on your medical eligibility will be taken by SMO(SE). Don't worry if this takes a while, sometimes there are a lot of cases to be looked at.

If you do have to wait until the spring to carry on, don't worry, you know as well as I do how quickly 6 months pass; it seems like yesterday that the news about the lockdown came out, but it's almost 6 months. Time has flown.

I have my fingers crossed for you! You have come so far.
 
Last edited:

SeaBiscuit

Midshipman
Another one who isn't yet in uniform but has all the answers.

Sorry remind me what your military experience is?
Sorry remind me what your military experience is?

Remind you? I didn't tell you anything about my service for you to forget.

I served in the RN from the age of 18. I am in receipt of a war pension. I am now a principal engineer signing off on the safety of nuclear submarine combat systems. Now that I HAVE told you, don't ask me to remind you again.
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Remind you? I didn't tell you anything about my service for you to forget.

I served in the RN from the age of 18. I am in receipt of a war pension. I am now a principal engineer signing off on the safety of nuclear submarine combat systems. Now that I HAVE told you, don't ask me to remind you again.
So there!
 

RabC

MIA
Remind you? I didn't tell you anything about my service for you to forget.

I served in the RN from the age of 18. I am in receipt of a war pension. I am now a principal engineer signing off on the safety of nuclear submarine combat systems. Now that I HAVE told you, don't ask me to remind you again.
Emergency resupply of toys to the pram please.
 
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