The Department of Transportation (DOT) has put into place something referred to as a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Evaluation. This is an assessment designed to help employers determine if an employee has a substance use disorder and to identify any necessary treatment and/or rehabilitation needs. This evaluation is mandated by the DOT and must be conducted by a DOT-certified SAP. SAP’s make use of the evaluation in order to help employers make correct decisions regarding the employee’s return to duty, or continued employment.
In order to become a DOT-certified SAP, an individual must have a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Health, Social Work, Psychology, or a similar field and obtain two years of experience in the assessment and evaluation of substance use disorders. In addition, the individual must complete a DOT-approved SAP training course.
The evaluation consists of several components, including a review of the individual’s medical and substance abuse history, an assessment of the individual’s current status and functioning, and a determination of the individual’s need for treatment and/or further evaluation. The SAP will review the individual’s medical records, including any records of prior substance abuse treatment, as well as any reports or documentation of positive drug and/or alcohol screens. The SAP will then conduct a personal interview with the person in order to gain a better understanding of the individual’s substance abuse history, current functioning, and need for treatment. Following the interview, the SAP will review the individual’s relevant background information, including any available alcohol/drug testing results, to determine if the individual is in need of further evaluation or treatment.
The DOT SAP evaluation process also includes a review of the individual’s current functioning. This review includes a review of the individual’s work and family environment, current employment history, relationships, and lifestyle factors. The SAP will also assess the individual’s current mental and physical health, which would include any indications or possible symptoms of substance abuse or addiction. The SAP will then provide recommendations to the individual regarding treatment, monitoring, and/or other steps must be completed while continuing abstinence from alcohol and/or drug use.
Following the evaluation, the SAP will provide the individual with a report that contains a summary of the evaluation, including all relevant findings and recommendations, as well as a copy of the DOT SAP Regulations. The individual can then decide whether or not to follow the recommendations of the SAP. If they do choose to follow the recommendations, the individual will be required to submit to follow-up testing, treatment, and/or monitoring as directed by the SAP.
The DOT Substance Abuse Professional Evaluation is an important part of an employer’s drug testing and prevention program. By utilizing this evaluation, employers can ensure that their employees are safe and productive, and that any necessary treatment or rehabilitation is provided. Additionally, this evaluation can help employers protect themselves from potential liability arising from the misuse of drugs in the workplace.
Visit www.sapevaluation.org to learn more about the process of getting back on the road or if you’d like to speak with someone you can also try giving us a call a 1-800-683-7745