Drug Enforcement Agency


Can a Former Addict Work for the Drug Enforcement Agency?

I recently decided to research the Drug Enforcement Agency requirements for becoming a DEA agent. After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that I can never in my life become a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent.

DEA agents are those people who bust drug deals and try to stop people from transporting drugs into our country. Their goal is to enforce laws regarding controlled substances and basically to get drugs and drug dealers off the streets. Now, as a recovering addict, is this really something I want to do? Actually I think that DEA agent training would be great to get involved in to try to help keep illegal substances off the streets. As a drug addict, I know that other addicts will find drugs somewhere no matter what, but the more people we have out there enforcing the drug laws the better.

I think it would be a really fulfilling experience to be involved in a drug enforcement agency. On the other hand, do I really want to be around drugs and drug dealers? Haven’t I done enough of that in my life?

When I told my husband that I could never become a DEA agent, I think he was actually relieved. If working in a drug enforcement agency were my dream, he would support me. But I do know that he thinks this would be a dangerous job for a recovering drug addict.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has a policy stating that if you have abused narcotics, you cannot become a DEA agent. I’m sure there are some very good reasons for this, besides the obvious one of not wanting to have drug addicts, even recovering ones, around drugs.

But what about an addict or alcoholic who has been clean for 20 years? What if I have been clean for a very long time and continue to attend 12 step meetings and am on very firm spiritual ground?

There are recovering drug addicts who bartend and who are pharmacists. Many of them maintain their sobriety and are perfectly fine with their job. I was honestly pretty disappointed when I found out that I can NEVER for the rest of my life even consider becoming a DEA agent.

DEA agent requirements state that anyone who has used drugs, other than those that have been prescribed to them cannot be considered as applicants. The only exception to this requirement is someone who has used marijuana occasionally while they were young, as a means of experimentation.

Not only can I NOT become a DEA agent, but someone who has smoked marijuana or drinks alcohol CAN? Is marijuana not a real drug? And what about alcohol?

Sure, they have made it clear that only people who have ‘experimented’ with marijuana are eligible and not people who are addicted to it, but how is marijuana different from any other drug?

I understand there are countless other career fields I can look into, but it’s really just the principle of it. At the end of the day, I probably never would have really become a DEA agent, but it’s pretty disappointing to know that I never can.

Do you think this is a fair policy? An unfair but necessary policy? I’d love to hear your opinions on this topic!


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