When a Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated employee refuses to be tested for drugs/alcohol or is positive for drugs and alcohol in their system, they must go through a return-to-work process before returning to their duty. The first step of this process is to be evaluated by a DOT-qualified specialist, also known as an SAP specialist.
When they see an addiction specialist, they will undergo an assessment and evaluation. The addiction specialist you meet is an essential part of the SAP Evaluation, as they have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating addiction.
Their job is to make sure you have the tools you need to safely return to work after a failed drug test. Typically, employers provide a list of certified SAP specialists, but you can also research and contact your own SAP specialist as long as they are DOT certified. During the SAP evaluation, the reviewer will review your case, ask you to complete one or more assessment tools, and ask various personal questions to get more information. These questions are harmless and are meant to get you back to work, so no need to worry.
It’s best to answer questions honestly, as you would in a therapy session or in a conversation with a friend. After your SAP evaluation is complete, your evaluator will determine a plan for your Return to Duty process, which in most cases includes a treatment plan. This may include substance abuse awareness classes, one-on-one counseling, or any other level of care tailored to your individual case.
They will direct you to places where you can receive guidance and/or treatment as required. After completing the educational and/or treatment recommendations, you will undergo a final evaluation, which usually includes a urinalysis to assess your readiness to return to work.