The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation 49 CFR Part 40 defines the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) as a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. The primary safety objective of the DOT rules is to prevent, through deterrence and detection, alcohol and controlled substance users from performing transportation industry safety sensitive functions. Therefore, the primary function of the SAP is to protect the public interest by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare programs.
Not all substance abuse counselors are qualified to perform SAP evaluations!
To be qualified to perform SAP evaluations, a provider must be one of the following:
- A licensed physician (MD or DO)
- A licensed or certified psychologist
- A licensed or certified social worker
- A licensed or certified employee assistance professional
- A state-licensed or certified marriage and family therapist
- An alcohol and drug abuse counselor certified by:
1.NAADAC National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
2.ICRC International Certification Reciprocity Consotium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
3.NBCC National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates/Master
Additionally, all SAPs must receive qualified training and satisfactorily complete an examination given by a nationally recognized professional or training organization and must comprehensively cover all the elements required for the qualification training. SAPs must complete at least 12 hours of continuing education relevant to performing SAP duties every three (3) years.
When an employee violates a DOT drug and alcohol regulation, employers must remove that employee from performing DOT functions until the SAP process has been completed. Employers must also provide the employee with the name of at least two (2) practitioners qualified to perform SAP evaluations. DOT will hold employers responsible for any employee who receives a substance abuse evaluation from a practitioner who is not qualified to perform such evaluations under DOT rules and has returned to performing DOT functions.
For more information regarding SAP evaluations or to set up a SAP evaluation with a qualified Hidalgo Health Associates clinician, click here