What is a SAP and why would you need such an evaluation?
A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person certified to evaluate employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and who makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.
A SAP provides the analysis and assessment (and in some cases the only assessment) an employer may have in determining whether or not to keep an employee in the service of the public (i.e., place an employee behind the steering wheel of a school bus, in the cockpit of a plane, at the helm of an oil tanker, at the throttle of a train, in the engineer compartment of a subway car, or at the emergency control valves of a natural gas pipeline). The SAP's responsibility to the public is enormous.
A SAP is an advocate for neither 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 tests, and aftercare.
The evaluation process includes the following:
Face to face interviews. It is the SAP’s responsibility to determine whether there is a substance abuse problem present, and, if so, what level of treatment is appropriate. Note that DOT rules require a recommendation for some level of substance abuse education or treatment for each case. At the time of the first interview, an appointment is set for a follow-up evaluation.
The SAP recommends one or more treatment providers.
An initial evaluation report is sent to the employer.
The SAP maintains regular contact with the treatment provider to ensure compliance with the treatment plan and suitability of the level of service.
The follow-up evaluation is conducted to determine successful compliance and completion of the recommended treatment. A “Notice of Compliance,” or a “Notice of Noncompliance,” is sent to the employer. If the employee has successfully completed the treatment, the “Notice of Compliance” will include a schedule for follow-up drug testing and any recommendations for aftercare.
If requested, the SAP will monitor the employee’s recovery by conducting regular face to face interviews and revisiting any follow-up testing program when appropriate. Fees for this service may be over and above the initial evaluation fee.
Who needs a SAP evaluation?
Do you hold a CDL license?
Have you received a positive substance abuse evaluation?
Were you informed that you must obtain a substance abuse evaluation as a condition of employment, or consideration for continued employment?
If you've answered yes to the questions above, you need a SAP evaluation.