Memorandum on Federal Initiatives for a Drug-Free America


October 4, 1986


Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies


Subject: Federal Initiatives for a Drug-Free America


In furtherance of our policy against drug abuse, I have approved several initiatives that require the support and commitment of all department and agency heads and their senior staff members.


One of our goals is a drug-free workplace in the Federal government, in State and local governments, and in private companies, including those that contract with the government. To help achieve this goal, you should:


Develop a plan in accordance with Section 2 of Executive Order 12564, which I signed on September 15, 1986. Your plan should consider the rights of the government, the employee, and the public, addressing special concerns posed by employment that involves national security or public health and safety. It should include steps, as outlined in the Executive Order, for expanding drug abuse awareness and prevention among Federal employees; for identifying employees, and applicants for employment, who use illegal drugs; and for assisting and, as necessary, disciplining such employees who use illegal drugs.


Make each employee aware of the health, economic, and social costs of illegal drug use, assist employees in recognizing and combatting illegal drug use in the workplace and in homes and communities, and ensure that each employee is aware that unauthorized possession of a controlled substance is a crime.


Encourage your counterpart leaders in State and local governments to free their workplaces from illegal drug use.


To assist you, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management will provide information about the effects of drug abuse, guidelines for drug testing and treatment, training of supervisory personnel, and technical assistance in support of Employee Assistance Programs. The Attorney General will be prepared to render legal assistance.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services will establish a ``Drug-free Workplace Helpline'' to answer questions government and private sector organizations may have about drug abuse.


The Secretary of Labor will work with labor leaders to promote our goal of drug-free workplaces, develop and disseminate a ``what works'' booklet on Workplaces Without Drugs, and make available a team of experts to assist management and unions in establishing drug prevention programs.


Another of our goals is drug-free schools. To achieve this goal:


The Secretary of Education, as national advocate for drug-free schools, will work with educators, parents, students, and others to ensure that everything possible is done to protect our children from the dangers of illegal drugs. The Secretary of Education will disseminate drug-related educational materials such as the booklet Schools Without Drugs.


The Attorney General and the Secretary of Education will work together to ensure that local law enforcement officials and school authorities cooperate in discouraging illegal drug use and in prosecuting the so-called ``school yard laws'' against distribution or manufacture of drugs around school property.


The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Education will work together to develop a model drug prevention program in Department of Defense schools.


Since rehabilitation of illegal drug users is a cornerstone of our policy, another goal is expansion of drug treatment and research.


To achieve this:


The Secretary of Health and Human Services will take the lead in encouraging States and communities to develop programs to treat specific drug-related health problems. This will be achieved by seeking an emergency expansion of services in facilities that treat drug-related health problems, and by establishing community systems development projects.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services will also expand research in health-related areas such as drug testing, and bolster medical and health prevention programs by establishing a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management will provide appropriate information and technical assistance to department and agency heads regarding rehabilitative services for Federal employees.


We also have as a goal to increase public awareness and prevention of drug abuse. To achieve this goal, I hope you will:


Encourage all citizens and private sector organizations to develop and participate in drug abuse awareness and prevention campaigns, such as ``Just Say No.''


Encourage corporations, service organizations, and the media with which you interact to stimulate development of innovative community-based prevention programs and to develop prevention programs within their organizations.


Provide leadership to ensure that Americans have access to accurate and effective information about illegal drugs and strategies for getting drugs out of their homes, schools, workplaces, communities, and the Nation. The proposed Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, in the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide a toll-free number for technical assistance and referrals and will manage a speakers' bureau on illegal drug use prevention.


The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development will take the lead in an effort to reduce the level of illegal drug activity in public housing authorities, and will work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, and the Attorney General to achieve drug-free housing developments.


The Secretary of Transportation will take the lead in an effort to ensure safe transportation of people and goods, and will work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Education, and the Attorney General to promote regulatory changes, drug-testing, prevention, and education leading to a drug-free transportation system.


I have enclosed a personal message for Executive Branch employees about our new drug abuse initiatives. Please ensure that each employee in your organization receives a copy, and feel free to communicate an additional personal message of your own.


You should institute actions on the above initiatives immediately, using existing resources or reallocating resources where necessary. I will ask for periodic progress reports through the Domestic Policy Council to ensure that we are moving toward our goal of a drug-free America.


Ronald Reagan


Note: The memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 6.