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  • Medication question? Preparedness question?

    Hi, I am currently in High school, as a senior. I am located in Hawaii, and I have a question to ask of any officers out there. I was wondering, if applying to the local PD, would I be disqualified because I am on prozac for anxiety? I asked two officers, one in an interview and one in a ride-along, as we;; as emailing the career center, and they all said it should be ok if it is prescribed. One officer did say I should be careful as it is a high anxiety job, but I personally feel, that with it, I can handle a lot more anxiety, and the anxiety usually doesn't deal with "danger" as much as it does with me having the need to have a drink with me.

    I am working on the drink problem, so I don't carry this mini small sized bottle with me, but I am still also trying to work on getting off the pill. Been on it since the start of middle school to now. I did skip one year, but it was "cold turkey" which doesn't help me any, so I got put back on it. I noticed with the pill, I am willing to take more risks, etc. Try harder, etc.

    I have a very huge interest/want to become an officer. I enjoyed every second of the ride along, even got to experience holding my bladder. haha. Any suggestions on what I can do to prepare myself? Other than working on the medication/problem?

    I am currently trying to get into good physical shape, as I am starting to go to the gym and am currently taking a weight training class.

    If I do get accepted into HPD, I cannot wait to deal with those idiots that make others lives horrible, as well as helping those in need at a moment in their life that they need it the most.

  • #2
    I know I should come up with a backup career, but I would be heartbroken to not be accepted.. everyone knows I want to become a cop, and how enthusiastic I am about it, but enthusiasm isn't gonna get me the job..

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    • #3
      I'm assuming that the "drink" you reference is of the non-alcoholic variety. While not medically quaified to pass judgement on your anxiety issues, I can tell you that agencies will want to take a long hard look at them. This is a job in which anxiety comes with the territory, and which in many instances is very much high stress. You will be evaluated in this regard by both state and individual agency standards. Right now, your immediate goal is to graduate from high school. It's imperative that you not get merely passing or average grades, but that your GPA be as high as possible. Many departments will require that you submit certified copies of your high school transcripts. It IS that important. I would strongly suggest that upon completing high school, you continue your education, and pursue a four year degree if possible. All this time, work on getting into, and staying in shape. Avoid "friends" who do drugs and alcohol. And Yes, have a back up plan in the event you change your mind concerning law enforcement, or in the event you don't make the cut.

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      • #4
        It is not a disqualifier right off the bat. I know many in our profession that are on maintenance medications for a variety of issues. I think the stigma of same has changed over the years.

        I agree with Philip, you're at a time in your life where mistakes can cost you or cause you problems for the rest of your life. Watch your grades and your friends. Please remember that you are known by the company you keep. Start doing things now that add to your resume and show that you're well-rounded and a contributing member of society.

        Best of luck.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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        • #5
          If you can't handle the nonexistent stress of junior high and high school, you won't even make it past the first day of the academy.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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          • #6
            Non alcoholic drink for sure. Its just anything such as water. I am currently getting involved in more extra-curricular activities, and am trying to contact the PD about the explorers program. I don't really feel the stress of high school that much...its just the juggling of 6 classes of homework a day I find at times annoying, but doable. It is hard for me to come up with a back-up plan, as all I really want to be is an officer. however, we cant always get what we want, so I should start thinking of back-up plans now. Thanks for everyone's input by the way.

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            • #7
              What would my chances of actually being accepted be?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by brandonk.akiona View Post
                Non alcoholic drink for sure. Its just anything such as water. I am currently getting involved in more extra-curricular activities, and am trying to contact the PD about the explorers program. I don't really feel the stress of high school that much...its just the juggling of 6 classes of homework a day I find at times annoying, but doable. It is hard for me to come up with a back-up plan, as all I really want to be is an officer. however, we cant always get what we want, so I should start thinking of back-up plans now. Thanks for everyone's input by the way.
                I agree you should have a back up plan.

                Like Ateamer stated.......if you can't handle high school (and you can't as shown in the bold statement above) you won't make it though the application/testing phase much less the academy and FTO.

                The needing a drink is probably a side effect of your medication.


                Now to address the medication. MANY current officers are on medication (as noted by Smurfette)........However that is normally meds prescribed AFTER being hired.

                It is true that use of anti-anxiety medication isn't necessarily an auto disqualification ...................but the red flags that will be raised and the questions you will be subjected to................isn't gong to be fun.
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brandonk.akiona View Post
                  What would my chances of actually being accepted be?
                  Nobody can give you a straight answer because these are medical issues that cops lack the training and expertise to evaluate.

                  You take medication..

                  In order to be employed as a peace officer, you cannot work while under the influence of any medication that impairs your ability to perform the duties of the job. That includes things like operate machinery; in an emergency, analyze facts and make split second decisions regarding deadly force matters; operate vehicles at high speed; make decisions whether to deny people their freedom, their property; etc. The list can go on and on. Only a doctor who is familiar how your medication affects these abilities can decide if taking them will be a disqualifier.

                  You suffer from anxiety, an emotional condition.

                  Law enforcement candidates must be free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer and be capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position. Most states require applicants to undergo and pass a psych exam. Whether or not your level of anxiety is great enough to be a disqualifier will be measured at the time you apply through a psych exam administered and interpreted by a license physician.

                  Now to complicate matters further, no department can look at your medical information and give you an answer to these questions ahead of time. The Americans with Disabilities Act (a Federal Law) prohibits an employer from inquiring into an applicant's medical history except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. So, no one is going to look at your medical records, talk about your medications, give you a commitment one way or another, or enter into any serious discussions as to your medical issues until you have passed all the competitive exams and scored high enough that they are ready to make you a conditional offer of employment (we will hire you provided you pass the medical and psych).

                  Sorry, but that's just the way it works.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                  • #10
                    Sorry to bump an old thread. I just wanted to thank everyone for their information. I also wanted to say that I recently joined the Law Enforcement Explorers and was wondering if this would help me get hired?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brandonk.akiona View Post
                      Law Enforcement Explorers and was wondering if this would help me get hired?
                      Not really. It will give you a look at the dept and daily ops depending on how it's run. It sure isn't going to hurt. However a job and college will help more.
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                      Copy and paste Bunny into your
                      signature to help him gain world domination

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brandonk.akiona View Post
                        Sorry to bump an old thread. I just wanted to thank everyone for their information. I also wanted to say that I recently joined the Law Enforcement Explorers and was wondering if this would help me get hired?
                        Brandon, congratulations on joining the LE Explorers. Now, go back and re-read ALL the replies you received relative to your original post. Pay particular attention to the information L-1 provided you with. What you'll read and hopefully absorb is the fact that what was quoted to you, pretty well applies nation wide. While being a member of an LE Explorer unit will not hurt you in any hoped for LE career, neither will it offset any medical issues which would act as a bar to your employment as an Officer. It is not my desire to "rain on your parade" or unduly discourage you. However, the assumption was made, both in your original thread, and this most recent version of it, that you desired the truth. That we have attempted to provide you.

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