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Memorandum Urging Support of Federal Initiatives for a Drug-Free America

October 04, 1986

Memorandum for All Executive Branch Employees

As you know, I recently approved several new initiatives with an overriding goal of a drug-free America. This is no easy task, requiring as it does the commitment and support of all Americans. I am asking you, as citizens, parents, friends, and colleagues, to take a leading role.

As members of the Nation's largest work force, you can continue to set an example for other American workers. I know an overwhelming majority of Federal employees have never had trouble with illegal drugs, but our goal is a safe and drug-free workplace for all employees and the American public. Certainly the issue of drug testing has caused some concern, but I want to assure you that my Executive Order contains provisions to ensure that any testing program will be fair and will protect your rights as citizens.

Our intention is not to punish users of illegal drugs, but to help rehabilitate them. When you see colleagues or friends struggling with a drug problem, encourage them to seek help from your Employee Assistance Program or from some other organization or person skilled in drug counseling and treatment. Together we can send a message that illegal drug use in every office, shop, and laboratory simply will not be tolerated. The combined efforts of all of us will make it easier for Federal as well as private sector employees to "Just Say No."

Your efforts to increase public awareness and prevention of drug abuse are also crucial. Illegal drug use is not a "victimless crime," nor is it glamorous or a matter of personal choice. Drug abuse victimizes everyone in productive time lost, lives shattered, and families and communities torn apart. We must send this message beyond the workplace to friends and neighbors and especially to our young people.

I have called upon you many times in the past, and your support and dedication have already helped us achieve so much. Now I am asking you to get personally involved in ridding our offices, schools, homes, and communities of drugs and making them better places to live and work. I know I can count on your personal help.


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

Ronald Reagan, Memorandum Urging Support of Federal Initiatives for a Drug-Free America Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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