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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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Work Life

Drug-Free Workplace

The use of illegal drugs by Federal employees, whether on or off the job, cannot be tolerated. Employees who use illegal drugs have three to four times more accidents while at work. Federal workers have a right to a safe and secure workplace, and all American citizens who depend on the work of the Federal government for their health, safety, and security have a right to a reliable and productive Federal workforce

Since 1986, the Federal government has mandated a comprehensive drug-free workplace program for all Federal Executive Branch workers. Executive Order 12564 (Drug-Free Federal Workplace, 1986) established a condition of employment for all Federal employees to refrain from using illegal drugs on or off-duty. This comprehensive approach includes the following five components:

  1. development of an agency policy;
  2. employee education;
  3. supervisory training;
  4. access to agency-sponsored Employee Assistance Programs; and
  5. urine drug testing for illegal drugs of job applicants and Federal employees in designated testing .

Several Federal agencies are involved in the Drug-Free Workplace effort. One of these is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Their website is They have a special program called @Work that is part of their National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Guidance on this program is available at

Another agency is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. They provide excellent guidance on through their Division of Workplace Programs available at