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  • BI Question

    Hello all,

    Like many others, I have a question in regards to the potentiality of me being DQ in my background check to the situation below. I am currently not going through the BI yet but any advice or feedback on the circumstances below would be greatly appreciated.

    Back in 2017 I was letting my brother live with me due to him kind of falling on hard times and me wanting to help my brother out I let him stay with me for a couple of months. I knew he had lost his job and his girlfriend had broken up with him and I didn't really dig too much into the details of it all other than what he already explained to me. I knew he liked to smoke marijuana and since it was legal here (Washington) I didn't think much of it as long as he didn't do it in the house or around me or my daughter.

    Fast forward a couple months, I am currently involved in a custody battle with my daughter's mother. Since she knew my brother liked to smoke marijuana it came up in court and I was asked to submit to a drug test ( the kind where they take your toe nails). I happily accepted, as in my mind I had nothing to worry about as I have always had a very non-compromising stance on myself personally using drugs as I witnessed my father destroy his life with drugs. My brother was asked as well but he refused of which I pretty much begged him to reconsider. At this time it kind of drew a red flag, but again ,I ignored the writing on the walls as most of my concerns were with the custody battle. I ended being the only one taking the test and this is where this is where my problem starts. My test results came back positive for methamphetamines. I was completely floored, shocked, stunned and freaking the hell out as I knew what this would mean. I tried to figure out how this was possible, spending many hours online researching trying to figure out if I took too much cough medicine or ate too much poppy seed or whatever it may be because at this point in my life I have never even seen what Meth looked like.

    This is when things began to start clicking in my head. My brother losing his job, his girlfriend breaking up with him, and him refusing to take the drug test. I started to become suspicious of him and I was paying a whole lot more attention to his behaviors which were questionable. So when he was away at work( he just got a new job) I decided to search his room and found in one of his drawers some crystal looking like rocks in a tube and along with them was a typical looking crack pipe.

    I immediately confronted my brother when he got home and of course he denied all of it saying it was someone else's. I did not believe him as I told him there was no way I could test positive unless you were doing it in the house on a constant basis. With this information, I moved out 3 weeks later transferring my lease into his name. Of course, the judge was not lenient on me and I was subjected to 3 months of random drug tests and more hair and toenail drugs tests along with seeing a drug and therapy counsellor. All my tests after that initial one came back negative but the damage was done. Eventually, after a couple of months the judge was pleased with my actions and I was able to get back to normality with my daughter and everything was settled for the better between my daughter's mother and I.

    So my question is how are my chances in everyone's opinion of passing or being DQ from a BI with a positive test of methamphetamines. I wanted to explain the situation to you all as I plan to tell this same story to the BI if I make it that far so I apologize for the long read.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment and a little background info about me is below.

    34 years old.
    Excellent physical shape.
    2 college degrees
    Veteran - with honorable discharge( Army Infantry)
    Never been arrested or anything close to that.

    Once again thank you!

  • #2
    Age, not a factor. Physical condition, not a factor. Degrees, not a factor. Military veteran, not a factor. Criminal record, not a factor. What matters is if you used meth or not.

    It's not impossible for you to test positive just from being around it, but had you called the police and had the incident documented, it would be more believable. I know it's kinda guilty until proven innocent and that's not always fair, but how can we be sure you're not lying? You were at a rough spot in your life and it's not all that unusual for people to turn to drugs and/or alcohol to deal with personal crises. Considering the amount of meth we find on the street, the potential of you being a former user and deciding to pocket something you find, or worse, being a dirty cop working for a dope dealer, is not worth the risk. We're also obviously prone to divorce, traumatic incidents, extreme stress, and injuries, all of which can and do lead to addiction among cops.

    We're not the final arbiters in this case, so don't worry yourself over trying to convince us, but if this is really a job you want then just apply, tell the truth, and see what happens. Unless the only agencies you're interested in have some stupidly-long job application, what have you got to lose? Worst that can happen is they say no. Hope everything works out for you man.

    Comment


    • Levithane
      Levithane commented
      Editing a comment
      Gotta ask, since you've been working as an officer have any of the users you've come across who are positive for meth use ever give you the "cough syrup story"?

    • Bing_Oh
      Bing_Oh commented
      Editing a comment
      The "cough syrup story" wouldn't even make sense (much like the poppy seed one). In my state, precursor components for meth (like medications containing pseudoephedrine) are restricted for sale, require ID, and are tracked...it's one of the reasons that cooking meth over buying meth has gone out of style. Even if they weren't, someone would have to be taking such large amounts to pop positive on a drug test as to be a concern in itself.

      Normal use of medications containing pseudoephedrine will not show positive for meth on a drug test, much like eating a poppy seed bagel will not show positive for opioids. The potential levels are so low in those scenarios that they would be well below tolerance for false positives.

    • emtguy89
      emtguy89 commented
      Editing a comment
      I've never done drug testing, and even applicants go to a local urgent care doc for their drug test, but I know there was a time a few years ago that certain Vicks inhalers could make you test positive and were OTC. I don't think that's an issue anymore in the testing pipeline. I usually just threaten people up front with "If you lie to me I'll give you additional charges, it ain't no sweat off my nuts" and they just tell me the truth. It's not like meth addicts can really disguise themselves anyway...

    • Levithane
      Levithane commented
      Editing a comment
      Ty for the responses. Just figured I'd ask because "cough syrup" was the excuse parolees always gave me when I nailed them for meth usage (lab results always contradicted their claim obv).

  • #3
    Originally posted by chrisjon12 View Post
    Hello all,

    Like many others, I have a question in regards to the potentiality of me being DQ in my background check to the situation below. I am currently not going through the BI yet but any advice or feedback on the circumstances below would be greatly appreciated.

    Back in 2017 I was letting my brother live with me due to him kind of falling on hard times and me wanting to help my brother out I let him stay with me for a couple of months. I knew he had lost his job and his girlfriend had broken up with him and I didn't really dig too much into the details of it all other than what he already explained to me. I knew he liked to smoke marijuana and since it was legal here (Washington) I didn't think much of it as long as he didn't do it in the house or around me or my daughter.

    Fast forward a couple months, I am currently involved in a custody battle with my daughter's mother. Since she knew my brother liked to smoke marijuana it came up in court and I was asked to submit to a drug test ( the kind where they take your toe nails). I happily accepted, as in my mind I had nothing to worry about as I have always had a very non-compromising stance on myself personally using drugs as I witnessed my father destroy his life with drugs. My brother was asked as well but he refused of which I pretty much begged him to reconsider. At this time it kind of drew a red flag, but again ,I ignored the writing on the walls as most of my concerns were with the custody battle. I ended being the only one taking the test and this is where this is where my problem starts. My test results came back positive for methamphetamines. I was completely floored, shocked, stunned and freaking the hell out as I knew what this would mean. I tried to figure out how this was possible, spending many hours online researching trying to figure out if I took too much cough medicine or ate too much poppy seed or whatever it may be because at this point in my life I have never even seen what Meth looked like.

    This is when things began to start clicking in my head. My brother losing his job, his girlfriend breaking up with him, and him refusing to take the drug test. I started to become suspicious of him and I was paying a whole lot more attention to his behaviors which were questionable. So when he was away at work( he just got a new job) I decided to search his room and found in one of his drawers some crystal looking like rocks in a tube and along with them was a typical looking crack pipe.

    I immediately confronted my brother when he got home and of course he denied all of it saying it was someone else's. I did not believe him as I told him there was no way I could test positive unless you were doing it in the house on a constant basis. With this information, I moved out 3 weeks later transferring my lease into his name. Of course, the judge was not lenient on me and I was subjected to 3 months of random drug tests and more hair and toenail drugs tests along with seeing a drug and therapy counsellor. All my tests after that initial one came back negative but the damage was done. Eventually, after a couple of months the judge was pleased with my actions and I was able to get back to normality with my daughter and everything was settled for the better between my daughter's mother and I.

    So my question is how are my chances in everyone's opinion of passing or being DQ from a BI with a positive test of methamphetamines. I wanted to explain the situation to you all as I plan to tell this same story to the BI if I make it that far so I apologize for the long read.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment and a little background info about me is below.

    34 years old.
    Excellent physical shape.
    2 college degrees
    Veteran - with honorable discharge( Army Infantry)
    Never been arrested or anything close to that.

    Once again thank you!
    If everything happened the way you describe it, then you're one unlucky guy.

    It's a difficult situation to explain to a BI...assuming you'd even be given a chance to explain it. Unless the agency is desperate for warm bodies, they'd probably just move on to the next applicant without the baggage.

    Comment


    • #4
      I can't even imagine ever being given the chance to explain this to the anyone in the hiring process.

      So in Your mind, with the research that you've done, how would you explain the positive result if anyone chose to listen?

      Comment


      • chrisjon12
        chrisjon12 commented
        Editing a comment
        I would most likely explain it as I explained it above with my maybe adding to the fact that the Meth's residue from what I understand lingers for a period of time and I was exposed to it in the similar fashion that one could be exposed to 2nd hand smoke from weed or cigarettes.

        In your professional opinion, do you have any ideas how I could better explain it given the details of my story?

        Thank you,

    • #5
      I have never seen a background packet that asked anyone if they tested positive for drugs -- they ask about drugs used and how many times. If I did not use meth, I would mark "no" and move on.

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by just joe View Post
        I have never seen a background packet that asked anyone if they tested positive for drugs -- they ask about drugs used and how many times. If I did not use meth, I would mark "no" and move on.
        True. But the positive drug test will be discovered one way or another during the BI...and at that point I'd probably be less inclined to consider any convoluted explanations.

        Most applications I've seen ask something along the lines of "is there anything else that you believe is relevant that has not been covered elsewhere?" I'd argue that having tested positive for meth and having undergone court-ordered drug counseling is pretty significant. If it's not disclosed in the initial application, then I'd expect it to be brought to my attention in the first BI interview. If I have to discover it myself, then the candidate would not be moving on in the hiring process, and I doubt he'd be hired anywhere else.

        Comment


        • just joe
          just joe commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not saying that it is going to be easy. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

        • not.in.MY.town
          not.in.MY.town commented
          Editing a comment
          just joe Agreed.

      • #7
        It'll Certainly be weighing very heavily on his mind when the poly / cvsa comes up, if that's before the BI.

        Comment


        • #8
          Hey all,

          Once again, thank you for all the replies. Yes the situation was very unfortunate and unlucky for me as it put me through quite a bit of hardship when it was happening. I plan to be 100 percent truthful about all this in my packet as I believe this would be the best course of action. My only explanation is that I tested positive because I was exposed to it and from what I understand Meth is a odorless drug and the residue of it apparently lingers for a while.

          As of many of you pointed out, the challenge would be convincing my BI to listen to my story and then believe it. Its a risk for any agency and is why I created an account to get some feedback on here. I know with the current political and social perception of the police environment today that applicants will most likely be under more scrutiny due to various reasons. At the same time though, I live about 10 minutes north of Portland OR and it seems almost every agency near me is desperate to get new officers in their doors. All in all the situation is obviously not ideal but it is what it is and hopefully somebody will take the time to listen.

          Comment


          • #9
            Meth is not “odorless”.

            Comment


            • chrisjon12
              chrisjon12 commented
              Editing a comment
              Honestly, I have no idea. From what I read it can be odorless or can smell like strong chemicals. Since I never noticed any smells of that sort that I can recall. I'm going to say it was odorless in my situation or it was smell that I could not recognize and correlate to what was going on under my roof.

          • #10
            Good luck, but honestly I can't imagine Anyone believing the story as presented.

            The idea that it was just floating in the air, undetectable, yet concentrated enough to cause a positive test result seems absurd.

            Comment


            • #11
              How much time passed between the initial positive nail test and subsequent nail tests?

              Comment


              • chrisjon12
                chrisjon12 commented
                Editing a comment
                First test which was the positive was April 2017 -The first following test I believe was 2-3 weeks after the first one and continued to July 2017.

              • not.in.MY.town
                not.in.MY.town commented
                Editing a comment
                See, that's really odd. Meth is detactable in toe nails for about 6 to 12 months. What is the likelihood of it becoming undetectable within those 2 to 3 weeks?

                Either your story is complete BS...or the first test was a false positive (possible lab mixup). If it's the latter, then you REALLY got screwed.

                How is your relationship with your brother now?

              • chrisjon12
                chrisjon12 commented
                Editing a comment
                I called the lab too about that same issue and they told me the likely hood of a false positive or mixing up the results was slim. All my test results were submitted to the court which are on file and I assume a BI would have access to.

                My brother still uses. He still denies using and everything else even though being arrested for possession of meth after the events of my scenario. Basically, I don't talk to him or interact with him that much unless at family events where we are all there. Not because I am angry but because its just sad to see what he is doing.

            • #12
              So his brother was cooking meth in the house and…

              Comment


              • not.in.MY.town
                not.in.MY.town commented
                Editing a comment
                ... the OP didn't smell a thing.

            • #13
              Interesting,........

              Comment

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