If you are in need of a SAP evaluation in Richmond, Virginia, contact:
5310 Markel Rd., Suite #102
Richmond, Va. 23230
Tel: (804) 554-0356
If your job falls under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines, there are certain policies and regulations that must be followed. In the hiring process for this position, you were asked to submit to a drug and/or alcohol screening. After you are on the job, you are also subject to random screenings. If an accident occurs on the job, you may have to undergo an additional screening for drugs and/or alcohol as part of the investigation process.
The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance advises the Secretary on national and international drug testing and control issues and is the principal advisor to the Secretary on rules related to the drug and alcohol testing and safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines and other transportation industries. The Office publishes regulations and provides official interpretations on drug and alcohol testing, including how to conduct tests, and the evaluation and treatment procedures necessary for returning employees to duty after testing violations.
What is a Substance Abuse Professional?
If you have failed a DOT drug and alcohol test, you have probably read about SAPs—or Substance Abuse Professionals. SAPs, according to DOT regulations, are the professionally licensed, credentialed individuals who are responsible for the following:
- Conducting an initial face-to-face employee evaluation and clinical assessment to determine the level of assistance necessary for an employee who is identified as having alcohol and/or drug-associated problems.
- Recommending and referring the employee to an appropriate education and/or treatment program.
- Monitoring the employee’s progress in the education and/or treatment process through regular contact with the treatment provider to check on the employee’s progress and to determine if the recommendation needs to be adjusted or changed. The next contact the SAP has with the employee will be for a follow-up evaluation at the completion of education and/or treatment.
- Providing the Designated Employer Representative with the follow-up evaluation of the employee and a drug and/or alcohol-testing plan for the employee.
Substance Abuse Professionals represent the major decision point (and, in some cases, the only decision point) an employer may have in choosing whether or not to place an employee behind the steering wheel of a school bus, in the cockpit 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 U.S. DOT.
The SAP is the person who verifies if the employee has successfully complied with his initial recommendation.
SAPs Do Not
SAPs do not provide counseling of the employee. Instead, the SAP is the professional who makes the recommendations for the appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests and aftercare.
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.
Thriveworks Richmond SAPs
At Thriveworks Richmond, we are very serious about the responsibilities and vital role of SAPs. As “gatekeepers” of the process by providing a crucial service to the employee, the employer and the millions of people who travel throughout the nation, SAPs have an immense obligation to the public. The SAP is the individual who ensures that the employee has successfully complied–or has not complied–with the SAP recommendation. The SAPs at Thriveworks Richmond are professionally licensed and knowledgeable of the DOT guidelines. They have:
- 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.
- Knowledge and understanding of reporting that the employee has or has not complied with the SAP’s recommendation.
- Have a passing score on the examination for the role of SAP.
- Understanding of the U.S. DOT’s expanded and revised drug use and alcohol misuse prevention rules for the commercial transportation industries.
- The background and reasoning of the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing program.
- Knowledge the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing rules.
- Knowledge of DOT drug testing requirements, such as laboratory testing and collections.
- Understanding of 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.
What Credentials are Necessary to be a SAP?
Credentials are mandatory to fill the role of a SAP. A SAP must hold one of the following credentials.
- 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.
Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.*
*National Institute on Drug Abuse
How Soon Can I Get an Appointment With the SAP?
Thriveworks Richmond 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.