What’s a DOT- SAP and what do I do with this referral?

Employees in safety-sensitive jobs that fall under the umbrella of the Department of Transportation (DOT) receive regular, random drug and alcohol testing through their employer. When an employee in a safety-sensitive position fails a drug or alcohol test, he or she is taken out of their position and mandated to meet with a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). He or she may not resume work in a safety-sensitive position until cleared by the SAP.

The DOT-SAP meets with the employee for an evaluation to determine the appropriate level-of-care. The employee must comply with the SAP’s recommendation and is not allowed to seek a second opinion. Once the SAP has met with the employer and determined the appropriate level-of-care, the SAP will contact the appropriate treatment provider to begin the referral process. The treatment provider then goes through their usual intake process. At minimum, the referral agency must provide the level-of-care recommended by the SAP. The employee must sign a release of information so that the provider can communicate with the SAP about compliance and UDS results. 1 or 2 phone calls or email exchanges between the provider and the SAP is sufficient for coordination of care.

Once the employee has completed the recommended course of treatment, she or he must contact the SAP for a follow-up evaluation. In the follow-up evaluation, the SAP will make recommendations about further treatment and return to work in a safety-sensitive position. The SAP will also make recommendations about the frequency of follow-up random drug and alcohol testing at work.

Information on the DOT-SAP Service

  • What’s an SAP and why would you need one?
  • The SAP, or Substance Abuse Professional, is a specially qualified substance abuse clinician who plays a central role in the Return to Duty process of an employee who has tested positive for drugs or alcohol.
  • The SAP is neither an advocate for the employer nor the employee.
  • The SAP’s overarching function is to protect the public interest of safety by professionally performing specific DOT-mandated Return to Duty functions.
  • As an employee, when you have violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations, you cannot again perform safety-sensitive duties for any employer until and unless you complete the SAP evaluation, referral, and education/treatment process set forth in the subpart and in applicable DOT agency regulations. The first step in this process is a SAP evaluation.

The Substance Abuse Profession (SAP) Description

  • I do not work for the government, DOT (Department of Transportation) or your employer.
  • I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, A Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug counselor, A Certified Employee Assistance Professional, and a DOT -certified SAP (Substance Abuse Professional).
  • My role is to evaluate your needs for education or treatment, monitor your progress, and provide written recommendations to your employer (or designated employee representative (DER) at the start and end of the SAP process.

The Initial DOT-SAP Evaluation

  • Clinical interview in a face-to-face evaluation session
  • Recommendations for education or treatment
  • Referral to an education or treatment provider
  • Written summary of recommendations to the DER

Follow-up DOT-SAP Evaluation

  • Face-to-face follow-up session
  • Recommendations for any further education or treatment
  • Recommendations about eligibility to return to work (at employer’s discretion)
  • Written summary of recommendations to the DER

Your Responsibilities

  • Participate honestly in the initial DOT-SAP evaluation
  • Schedule an intake with the recommended provider within 2 business days of the evaluation Attend the intake within 10 business days of the evaluation
  • Successfully complete the initial recommendations
  • Remain completely clean and sober
  • Do not work in a safety-sensitive position until you are cleared to return to work
  • Provide random drug and/or alcohol tests as required
  • Schedule a follow-up evaluation with me upon completion of the initial recommendations
  • Participate honestly in the follow-up DOT-SAP evaluation
  • Participate in any aftercare recommendations

100 W 6th St, Suite 305,

Media, PA 19063

Phone: 484-445-4147

Fax: (484) 445-4149

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