Adderall abuse is preventing hundreds of U.S. Secret Service recruits from landing a position, according to a recent USA Today report. The agency is currently looking to hire over 1,000 new recruits by the fall of 2017. However, the department has only managed to offer 300 people positions within the Secret Service so far, even though the agency received over 27,000 applicants.
While applicants may be qualified for positions based on referrals, paperwork, and interviews, officials from the agency said it was the final polygraph test that eliminated many contenders after they were forced to admit their history using the amphetamine Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
The Secret Service’s chief recruiter Susan Goggin told USA Today that Adderall was “a huge, huge issue” in the agency’s hiring process. Although many of the applicants only admitted to taking Adderall as a study aid in college – a trend that is common on most college campuses – use of any drug without a prescription is an ultimate disqualifier for any candidate looking to work for the Secret Service.
This is the first time that the agency has seen so many drug histories among applicants. On Wednesday, USA Today reporter Kevin Johnson told NPR the “new culture of candidates” don’t see their short stints with Adderall and other amphetamines as “being wrong,” especially since the substance has been predominately used as a study aid to help them continue to concentrate on work for longer periods of time.
Adderall isn’t all that is blocking potential Secret Service agents. Johnson said “internet abuse, illegal downloading” and “communications with friends and others on the internet” could also ruin someone’s chances of landing a position.
In the mean time, veteran agents are being overworked and maxing out their overtime allowances to cover the security needs of many of the major events that have taken place in the U.S. throughout 2016.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Commings, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told USA Today in June most veteran agents have been basically working for free since June after maxing out their overtime allowances.