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Press Release

Friday, July 12, 2019
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Broadens Efforts to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Newest guidance supports DOJ mission

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has expanded its efforts to support President Trump’s fight against the opioid crisis by issuing Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

This DHA will allow the DOJ to streamline the hiring process for specialized staff for the United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), the Criminal Division (CRM) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). These departments form one aspect of a multifaceted approach to combating the opioid crisis by finding and bringing to justice the criminal elements that are fueling this epidemic.

“The President has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, and OPM takes that very seriously,” said Margaret Weichert, Acting Director of OPM. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that every agency has the tools they need to combat this crisis.”

In the Memorandum, “Combating the National Drug and Opioid Crisis,” the President described the opioid crisis as a public health emergency and directed a multi-agency response to combat the drug demand and opioid problem afflicting our nation. On the same date, October 26, 2017, the Acting Secretary of HHS declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.

“The crisis of addiction in America continues to impact families, communities, and economies in every corner of our country. That’s why the Trump Administration has implemented a whole-of-government approach with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners, to tackle this epidemic and achieve our ultimate goal of saving lives,” said Jim Carroll, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

OPM has issued DHAs previously for Department of State, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in accordance with this memorandum.  This DHA is part of OPM’s continued mission to achieve President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse.

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OPM leads and serves the federal government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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