If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255

Drugs: Losing More Than Your Job

You already know that a drug offense can lead to discharge or separation from the military, but have you thought about what that might mean for your post-military life? Every day you serve, you earn important benefits that can support you after you leave the military. Know what you can lose and don’t let a drug offense impact what you earned.

What can I lose?

Here are some of the things you can lose when you are discharged or separated for a drug offense:

  • Veterans benefits. You may lose the benefits you would have had as a veteran which include veterans’ preference on federal jobs, healthcare, disability benefits and a home loan.
  • Education benefits. Going to school or other programs can help you build a career after the military. However, there are three discharges that can cost you college and other education opportunities. These include other than honorable discharge, a bad conduct discharge, dismissal or a dishonorable discharge. Losing these education benefits could negatively impact your career opportunities.
  • Right to bear arms. Even though the right to bear arms is a constitutional right, if you get a drug offense in the military, you may lose this right. A dishonorable discharge will impact your ability to possess a firearm.
  • Security clearance. Past or current drug offenses can affect your ability to get or keep a security clearance. This can impact your ability to get certain jobs.

Your military service provides benefits long after you leave, so make sure a drug offense does not impact the rest of your life. Learn more about the impact of risky drug use and what to do to avoid an offense.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255