If you are an employee or employer covered under DOT Testing Regulation 49 CFR Part 40, you may need to seek a SAP evaluation at some point.
What is a SAP Evaluation?
A SAP evaluation is one of the first steps in the Return-to-Duty process. If you have failed a drug test for the Department of Transportation, you must complete this process before resuming work. Here’s a look at what happens before, during and after a SAP evaluation so you can prepare for what’s to come.
What to Expect before a SAP Evaluation?
Before a SAP evaluation, you need to find a DOT-qualified SAP near you. The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) you choose is responsible for evaluating your circumstances and creating a path for your individual Return-to-Duty process. Your employer may provide you with some resources to find a SAP or you could work with a provider like American Substance Abuse Professionals who will help you find a DOT qualified SAP and get your evaluation scheduled.
What to Expect during a SAP Evaluation?
During your SAP evaluation, you will talk to your SAP about the nature of your failed drug test. After reviewing your file and asking some questions, your SAP will recommend treatment, training, education, counseling, or other steps you might take during your RTD process. The recommendations your SAP makes are personalized for each individual depending on the circumstances.
The SAP will send an outline of the recommendations to your employer and continue to correspond with them as you complete prescribed treatment.
What to Expect after a SAP Evaluation?
After a SAP evaluation, you will be tasked with completing your Return-to-Duty process. Attend whatever classes or counseling sessions your SAP recommended and keep in touch with your SAP about your progress. Your Substance Abuse Professional will monitor your progress to see that you complete each task successfully.
At the end of the process, you will see your SAP in-person for another SAP evaluation and follow-up drug test. Assuming everything goes well, the SAP will send a report to your employer so you can potentially return to work. You will need to complete several randomized drug tests over the next year as part of the SAP program, but you can be employed during that timeframe.
When Can I Return to Work after a Failed Drug Test?
The timeframe for returning to work after a failed drug test varies from one person to the next. This all depends on what is included in your SAP program and how quickly you complete your Return-to-Duty requirements. After your final SAP evaluation, it’s up to your employer to hire you back, terminate you, put you on probation, etc. The DOT and your SAP do not dictate the state of your employment; that is at the discretion of your employer.
The best way to return to work quickly after a failed drug test is to enroll in a SAP program right away. American Substance Abuse Professionals can help you and they have an 85% success rate for helping clients return to work.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.