DOT-regulated employees are required to complete the Return-to-Duty process before returning to safety-sensitive job duties. A substance abuse evaluation is the first step in that process. What happens during a SAP evaluation, and how can you prepare for one? Here is a quick guide, courtesy of American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc.
What Is a SAP Evaluation?
SAP stands for Substance Abuse Professional. This person has extensive experience in substance abuse diagnosis and treatment, along with training from the Department of Transportation. A SAP’s job is to ensure you have the tools to safely return to work after a failed drug test. The first step in your return to duty journey is to find a SAP.
A SAP evaluation occurs at the beginning of your Return-to-Duty process (RTD). You may complete other SAP evaluations as you progress through the RTD, depending on the circumstances. Your SAP will monitor your progress and remain in touch with you to help guide you through the steps. If you successfully complete the education and/or treatment recommended by your SAP, you’ll go through a final evaluation and hopefully be approved for job re-entry.
What Happens During a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
The initial SAP evaluation is an in-person (or virtual) interview. Your SAP will look over your case and ask targeted questions to get more information. There is no need to feel nervous. This person wants to help you return to work! At ASAP, we have an 85% success rate for helping our clients re-enter the work force for safety-sensitive positions. The more transparent you are, the more your SAP can do for you.
This may include drug counseling, substance abuse treatment, training courses, and more. Complete these steps, and you’ll then have a follow-up evaluation for final approval. If everything goes well, your SAP will clear you to return to work.
How Many SAP Evaluations Will I Need?
At minimum, you will complete two SAP evaluations. One will occur at the beginning of the RTD, and one will occur at the end. You may speak with your SAP between in-person evaluations so he or she can keep track of your progress and answer questions you have along the way.
What to Do Between SAP Evaluations
Between your SAP evaluations, complete the treatment and education recommendations outlined by your SAP. . This is true even if you fail a pre-employment test or refuse to take a DOT drug test. If you have any questions about your treatment, feel free to ask your SAP. That person is there to guide and support you throughout the RTD program.
Getting Started: Find a SAP Near You
Failed or refused a DOT drug test? Want to get your job back? If so, you’ll need to complete a SAP evaluation and Return-to-Duty process (RTD) with a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional. American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. has thousands of DOT-qualified SAPs in the United States, including many SAPs near you. We’ve proudly served communities throughout the country since 1997.