What does a Substance use Professional (SAP) Do?

A DOT Qualified SAP (Substance use Professional) is someone who professionally assesses safety-sensitive personnel who have broken a DOT drug and/or alcohol rule, according to US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Following an evaluation, they offer suggestions for follow-up testing, education, or therapy.

What does a Substance use Professional (SAP) Do?

SAPs review and make suggestions to employees who have violated a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol programme policy in some way. It uses education, treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.

During a SAP test, also known as a substance use evaluation. An individual is treated to a one-on-one clinical evaluation. It determines exactly what you need to address their alcohol or drug use-related concerns. Face-to-face communication is necessary because it can provide important physical cues needed for the assessment process.

This might manifest physically as physical hyperactivity. It also includes slowing down, tremors, needle marks, dilated pupils, jerky movements, yellow eyes, bloodshot eyes, or glazed eyes, loss of eye contact, appearance, posture, and verbal communication skills.

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The SAP will examine the employee’s level and establish whether they have a problem or addiction during the face-to-face evaluation.

It compiles a wide range of data. SAP includes Standardized testing, information gathering on past and present drug and alcohol use. It also includes mental health history, family history, social and physical health, and random drug and alcohol testing. The history of drug and alcohol usage will cover the start, run, frequency, amount, substance(s), and emotional and physical effects of use.

Since this is not something the SAP does, it may then help the employee identify service providers for therapy. Since the SAP’s role is that of a liaison and a guide. They are unable to direct the employee to their own practice. To avoid a conflict of interest, do this. There is no permission available for the employees and employers to request a second SAP review or in order to acquire a different suggestion. And no third party is permitted to change the report provided to the company. A face-to-face follow-up review will take place after the employee has successfully implemented all recommendations. This evaluation will determine whether you follow all recommendations. As well as whether there is a need for any additional care or testing.

 Follow-Up Assessment Of SAP

The follow-up assessment will provide clinical data to the employer. It allows them to determine whether the employee is ready to resume their safety-sensitive responsibilities. This will be communicated to the SAP and the employer through progress updates, a discharge summary, and face-to-face encounters. If the employee has successfully proved compliance with the treatment—or not—the SAP will also get in touch with them. In order to encourage the recovering employee and to reassure the employer that they are keeping a sober lifestyle while performing their safety-sensitive tasks, follow-up testing may also be used.

What is a Qualified DOT SAP’s Function?

A qualified DOT SAP’s primary responsibility is to protect public safety by evaluating employees. Making recommendations for education and/or treatment, and determining whether the employee is eligible for return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol testing. The qualified DOT SAP is neither the employer’s nor the employee’s advocate. The SAP has no bearing on the firm’s hiring and firing practices. Acts as confirmation that the employee has followed the process, instead.

What Education or Experience is required of a Qualified DOT SAP?

There are regulatory requirements that one must meet to be a qualified DOT SAP. They must “possess a particular background and credentials. It includes professional experience in the identification and treatment of substance use-related diseases.” The occupation or qualifications an SAP must possess are:

  • A doctor with a license (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
  • A qualified or licensed employee support specialist
  • A qualified or registered psychologist
  • A licensed or accredited Social professional 
  • Professional marital and family therapist
  • Certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors, the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and other Drug use, or the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug use Counselors Certification Commission (NAADAC).

Since December 31, 2003, providers have been required to keep their “DOT Qualification Training & Testing” certifications and finish 12 hours of continuing education every three years after passing the SAP exam.

The SAP Process

If a safety-sensitive employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol, they are instantly rejected of all safety-sensitive responsibilities. The person won’t be able to execute these tasks again until they’ve completed a return-to-duty procedure overseen by an SAP (Substance use Professional).

Professionally educated experts known as “substance use professionals” review employees and provide recommendations for either continuing education or a treatment program. Additionally, the SAP assesses the worker to determine whether or not you follow return-to-duty procedure. Last but not least, SAP grants consent for a return-to-duty exam that would enable the employee to resume work.

DOT Qualified SAP Near Me

An SAP who is qualified by the DOT must hold a degree in psychology, sociology, or a similar subject and have two years of experience working directly with patients, providing crisis intervention, or offering to counsel. A DOT-certified SAP also needs to pass a written test and successfully finish a 40-hour SAP training course.

A crucial component of the DOT’s Substance use Professional (SAP) program is a local SAP that has received DOT certification. There is a need for the SAP programme to help businesses ensure that employees violate DOT drug and alcohol testing policies. And receive the guidance and care they need to return to work safely.

Employees who have disregarded the DOT’s rules regarding drug and alcohol testing might receive a wide range of services from an SAP who is DOT trained. Among these services include assessment, informational programs, referrals, and follow-up.

An employee who has violated the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing requirements can get assistance from a DOT-qualified SAP in understanding the reasons behind the violation and creating a strategy to stop it from happening again. A DOT-qualified SAP can also assist a worker who has disobeyed the DOT’s guidelines for drug and alcohol testing in locating the therapy and counseling they require to safely resume work.

If you are an employee who has broken the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing requirements, contact DOT qualified SAP. Or if you are an employer who is required to have a DOT-qualified SAP on staff, you should contact a DOT-qualified SAP to learn more about the services they may provide.

Why Should I Need SAP?

SAPs play the role of an impartial third party and do not make decisions about whether to fire or rehire employees. These selections are subject to the employer’s discretion and corporate policy. An SAP’s responsibility is to clinically analyze and evaluate each person in order to develop an individualized treatment and/or education plan that complies with DOT protocol. Public safety is the goal and the main customer in DOT proceedings. To give employees permission to resume work that requires attention to safety, SAPs perform in-person evaluations. During COVID-19, interim guidance on in-person evaluations was released (DOT, 2019c).

The DOT requires certain standards for qualified DOT SAPs under 49 CFR Part 40. The ASAP Credentialing Team makes sure that current licenses, certificates, training requirements, and test results are documented.

Looking for DOT Qualified SAP near me? Visit our website at www.sapevaluation.org or give us a call at 1-800-683-7745 if you’d like to learn more about the DOT Qualified SAP and SAP Program.