Substance Abuse Professionals: Thriveworks Atlanta
If you are in need of a SAP evaluation in Atlanta, Georgia, contact:
8800 Roswell Dr., Suite A135
Atlanta, Ga. 30350
Tel: (404) 719-4233
Employees who perform safety-sensitive functions in the transportation industry are responsible for providing a safe work environment for their co-workers and the millions of people who travel in a variety of ways throughout the nation. In order to ensure a safe work environment, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has established work rules, including rules on drug use and alcohol misuse.
Testing Positive or Refusal to Test
According to the U.S. DOT, when you test positive or refuse a test, you are not permitted to perform safety-sensitive duties for any DOT-regulated employer until you have seen a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and successfully completed the return-to-duty process, which includes a Federal return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test.
Working in a safety-sensitive position before successfully completing the return-to-duty process is a violation of the regulations.
The Role of a SAP
If you have failed a random drug test or one that followed an accident that occurred on the job, and your position falls under the guidelines of the U.S. DOT, it is necessary for you to see a (SAP). The SAP is certified, trained and has the knowledge to be in this role. Thriveworks SAPs, in accordance with the guidelines of the DOT, are the professionals who:
- Evaluate employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation.
- Make recommendations about the education, treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare of the individual.
- Monitor the process.
- Represent the major decision point—and, in some instances, the only decision point—an employer may have in choosing whether or not to place an employee at the steering wheel of a school bus, at the controls of a plane, at the helm of an oil tanker, at the throttle of a train, in the engineer compartment of a subway car or at the emergency control valves of a natural gas pipeline, according to the DOT.
- The ability to say that the employee has—or has not—complied with his recommendations.
The responsibility of the SAP is a far-reaching one, especially because it is crucial to the safety of the many millions of people who use transportation in the country each year. The rules regarding the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees are individuals in areas, such as aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines and other transportation industries.
What will a SAP Do?
- Make a face-to-face clinical assessment and evaluation to determine what assistance is needed by the employee to resolve problems associated with alcohol and/or drug use.
- Refer the employee to an appropriate education and/or treatment program.
- Conduct a face-to-face, follow-up evaluation to determine if the employee has actively participated in the education and/or treatment program and has demonstrated successful compliance with the initial assessment and evaluation recommendations.
- Provide the Designated Employer Representative with a follow-up drug and/or alcohol testing plan for the employee.
- Provide the employee and employer with recommendations for continuing education and/or treatment.
What a SAP Does Not Do
In is important to note that a SAP is not an advocate for the employer or the employee. The role of the SAP is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending the appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests and aftercare.
It is also essential to know that the SAP does not provide counseling to the employee.
SAPs do not make a “fitness for duty” determination as part of the re-evaluation (unless required to do so under an applicable DOT agency regulation). The employer (the DOT) decides whether the employee should be placed back to work in a safety-sensitive position. In short, the SAP is the person who verifies if the employee has successfully complied with his initial recommendation.
At Thriveworks, the SAPs are professionally licensed, credentialed and knowledgeable of the DOT guidelines. They meet the following criteria:
- Clinical experience in the diagnosis of substance abuse-related disorders.
- An understanding of how the SAP role relates to the responsibilities employers have for ensuring the safety of the traveling public.
- Meet all SAP standards and training requirements.
- Hold qualifications and credentials to fill the role of SAP.
- Regularly attend continuing education activities.
- Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of reporting that the employee has or has not complied with the SAP’s recommendation.
- A passing score on the examination for the role of SAP.
- Understand the U.S. DOT’s expanded and revised drug use and alcohol misuse prevention rules for the commercial transportation industries.
- Possess the background and reasoning of the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing program.
- Know the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing rules.
- Knowledge of DOT drug testing requirements, such as laboratory testing and collections.
- Understand the role of the SAP in the initial employee evaluation, referrals for education and/or treatment, the follow-up evaluation, continuing treatment recommendation and the follow-up testing plan.
- Knowledge of reporting and record-keeping requirements.
Qualifications of a SAP?
Credentials are mandatory to operate in the role of a SAP. A person must have one of the credentials below in order to be a SAP.
- Licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy).
- Licensed or certified social worker.
- Licensed or certified psychologist.
- Licensed or certified employee assistance professional.
- State-licensed marriage and family therapist.
- A drug and alcohol counselor certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission; or by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse; or by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates/Master Addictions Counselor.
How Soon Can I Get an Appointment With the SAP?
Thriveworks SAPs typically schedule initial evaluations within five business days. In addition, the SAP’s recommendation about appropriate education and/or treatment program is dependent on your specific needs, which includes the presence of and, if identified, severity of your drug or alcohol problem. The SAP will identify the level of drug and/or alcohol use in order to make the recommendation about education and/or treatment.