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Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)​

When an employee in a company subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations fails or refuses to complete a drug and alcohol test, the employer is required to immediately remove the employee from the safety-sensitive job function. In order to return to work, the employee needs to complete a series of evaluations and tasks with professionals who have been trained and certified through requirements developed by the DOT ( A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)).


A SAP professional has the education, training, and credentials required to evaluate persons and to develop an appropriate plan that meets DOT guidelines.

DOT regulations (found in CFR 49 Part 40) describe the rules and processes that employers and employees follow to respond to the need for care and concern about public safety. All employees in safety-sensitive job roles mandated by DOT are required to adhere to these specific drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The CFR 49 Part 40 regulations define the SAP role as: “professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.” It is important to know that it’s not the SAP that decides if an employee can return to work. The regulations give the return-to-work responsibility to the employer.

As a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) I am a trained and certified professional, sensitive to your needs in the process by providing professional service, developing a treatment recommendation that has clinical integrity, scheduling a timely initial evaluation, and delivering professional and prompt communication as needed between parties.

Road Constuction

Return to Duty Process

The return-to-duty process typically includes 2 face-to-face sessions with an SAP, one at the beginning for the evaluation and one at the completion of the recommended treatment. A session can be scheduled quickly to complete the necessary report and provide you and your employer with a recommendation in a timely manner.

What Does the Process Look Like?

  1. Employee fails or refuses to test

  2. Employee is suspended from safety-sensitive job

  3. Employee is entered into the DOT regulated process

  4. Employee consults a Medical Review Officer (MRO) medical professional for evaluation

  5. Employee sees an SAP for evaluation

  6. SAP develops a recommended course of treatment and/or education, writes, and submits report

  7. Employee completes program developed by SAP

  8. Employee attends final evaluation by SAP

  9. Employee returns to employer with completed program and is subject to follow up stipulations regarding care and continued drug/alcohol testing

Need more information

Types of Recommendations

What Types of Recommendations Does the SAP Make?

The recommended treatment can include:

  • educational classes

  • private counseling (which would not be provided by the SAP)

  • attendance at mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Smart Recovery

  • professional treatment such as residential treatment or an Intensive Outpatient Program.


The SAP can recommend any of those individually or a combination. The SAP is not the provider of those services, but is the professional who evaluates what is needed, makes the treatment recommendations, communicates with the Designated Employer Representative (DER) and MRO and completes the final face to face evaluation when the employee has completed the recommended plan.

Evaluation Session- $575

Session Includes the Following:

  • Initial phone consult and scheduling of evaluation

  • Initial in person evaluation

  • Development of recommendation for education and/or treatment

  • Two (2) professional SAP reports (one initial intake and assessment and one upon completion)

  • As needed communication with MRO, DER, employer

  • Recommendation for frequency of submitting alcohol and drug testing upon return to work (required by CFR 49 Part 40)


SAP evaluation and treatment recommendation is not a billable service through insurance. A $300 down payment must be made at the time of scheduling the initial evaluation and all intake forms must be completed online prior to the initial evaluation. The balance is due upon initial service.

Services Provided

As a Substance Abuse Professional, (SAP), I provide the following services for Employees:

  • Initial DOT SAP Assessments and treatment plan

  • Consultation with Medical Review Officers (MRO)

  • Level of Care Recommendation and Referral

  • Interaction and communication with the Designated Employer Representative (DER) as needed

  • Appropriate paperwork in a professional and timely manner

  • Follow-up Evaluation and Compliance Interview

  • Case Management and Monitoring

Is a SAP Needed?

Serving Employers with DOT Regulated, Safety Sensitive Positions

  • Are you an employer with workers in safety sensitive positions?

  • Do you need to provide training each year to employees and managers on topics of substance abuse and chemical dependency?

  • Are you a manager or supervisor subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated, “CFR 49 Part 40” in one of the following?

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)

  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

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