What is a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)?
- A SAP is a professional that has been qualified through an approved national training program to evaluate safety sensitive employees who have violated a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol program regulation.
What does a SAP do?
- A qualified SAP completes an evaluation process and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare so that an employee meets requirements for the potential return to duty.
Who needs a SAP evaluation?
- Any individual in a safety sensitive position that has violated the DOT substance use policy and/or have been informed by the employer to obtain a substance abuse evaluation by a SAP.
- Have you recently failed a drug test in a “safety sensitive" job?
- Have you been entered into a “return to duty" process by your employer and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations?
- Are you in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), United States Coast Guard (USCG) or Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and a failed drug test?
- Are you subject to “CFR 49 Part 40?"
When an employee in a company that is subject to DOT regulations fails or refuses to complete a drug and alcohol screening, the employer is required to immediately remove the employee from the safety sensitive job function. in order to return to work, the employee must complete a series of evaluations and tasks with professionals who have been trained and qualified through requirements developed by the DOT. That professional is a SAP. The SAP has the education, training, and credentials required to perform the evaluations and develop an appropriate plan that meets DOT guidelines.
DOT regulations (found in CFR Part40) describe the rules and process that employers and employees follow to respond to the need for care and concern about public safety. All employees in safety sensitive job roles mandated by DOT are required to adhere to these specific drug and alcohol testing regulations. The CFR part 40 regulations define the SAP role as: “professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare." It’s important to know that it’s not the SAP that decides if an employee can return to work. The regulations give the return to work responsibility to the employer.
What Does the Process Look Like?
- Employee fails or refuses to test
- Employee is suspended from safety sensitive job
- Employee is entered into the DOT regulated process
- Employee consults a Medical Review Officer (MRO) medical professional for evaluation
- Employee sees a SAP for evaluation
- SAP develops a recommended course of treatment and/or education, writes, and submits report
- Employee completes program developed by SAP
- Employee attends final evaluation by SAP
What Types of Recommendations Does the SAP Make?
The recommended course of action can include educational classes, individual counseling, attendance at mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or Smart Recovery programs, and may include professional treatment such as residential treatment (RTC) or an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The SAP can recommend any of these individually or in any combination. The SAP is not the provider of these services, but is the professional who evaluates which services are needed. The SAP makes the treatment recommendations, communicates with the Designated Employer Representative (DER) and MRO and completes the final face to face evaluation when the employee has completed the recommended plan.
What does a SAP evaluation cost?
What does the cost include:
- Initial phone consult and scheduling of evaluation
- Initial in-person evaluation
- Development of recommendation for education and/or treatment
- Two (2) professional SAP reports (one initial intake and assessment and one upon completion)
- As needed communication with MRO, DER, employer
- Recommendation for frequency of submitting alcohol and drug testing upon return to work (required by CFR 49 Part 40)
Are there any additional costs from the SAP?
No. The $550.00 covers the SAP’s obligations in this process as listed above. The employee is responsible for any costs affiliated with the recommendations such as substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, individual counseling, or any education classes, etc.
A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is neither an advocate for the employer nor the employee. The SAP’s function is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up test, and aftercare.
If you have any other questions or would like to schedule a SAP evaluation, please contact Dan. There is a $300.00 nonrefundable deposit due at the time of scheduling the initial evaluation with the balance of $250.00 due upon the initial service.