If you are a safety-sensitive employee who falls under the Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines, you are subject to periodic drug and alcohol testing. If you fail or refuse a test, you may be wondering how you can find a DOT qualified SAP. In this article, we will explore some options.
Employers are required to immediately remove you from safety-sensitive duty if you fail or refuse a test. The only path to returning to your previous position is by successfully completing a DOT SAP program. The SAP (substance abuse professional) makes recommendations for you to complete education, treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare.
The SAP is not an advocate for you or your employer. His or her function is to protect public safety by professionally evaluating you and setting the guidelines for your specific return-to-duty process. The SAPs decisions in this process are final and your employer cannot override or overrule a SAP’s treatment recommendations.
Once you have started an evaluation process with a SAP, you cannot seek the services of a different SAP. If you try to get a second opinion, you and your employer would be subject to DOT fines.
For a Substance Abuse Professional to be DOT qualified, he or she must meet special requirements as set forth by the DOT. DOT rules define the SAP to be a licensed physician (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy), a licensed or certified psychologist, a licensed or certified social worker, or a licensed or certified employee assistance professional. In addition, the person must have additional qualifications specifically for the treatment of alcohol or drug abuse.
If you fail a DOT-mandated drug or alcohol test your employer may supply a list of SAPs. But your employer is not required to provide intervention or payment for your treatment. From that list of SAPs, you need to find one that is hopefully near you and has availability for your case. This requires multiple calls, leaving messages, and follow-ups.
Or you can contact American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. (ASAP). ASAP is a service agency that has a nationwide network of over 5,000 DOT qualified SAPs. A case manager will consult with you and match you with a SAP referral that is DOT qualified, available and located as close to you as possible. This ensures that you do not waste time looking for a DOT qualified SAP and helps you get back to work as quickly as possible.