Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not answered below, please contact us.
What is the return-to-duty process?
The return-to-duty process must be completed when an individual violates the Federal Department of Transportation alcohol and drug testing rules. Safety-sensitive-duties cannot be performed until the return-to-duty process is complete.
What does the return-to-duty process involve?
The return-to-duty process consists of the following:
- An Alcohol and Drug evaluation with recommendations for treatment or education based on severity and need of the individual.
- Once the treatment and/or education is complete a follow-up evaluation must be completed face-to-face.
- An aftercare program to test employee for the next twelve months or more for alcohol and/or drug abuse.
Can any counselor serve the SAP function?
The U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines are quite specific and require a SAP to have specific credentials, to have basic knowledge in specified content areas, to complete a comprehensive SAP training, and to satisfactorily complete a SAP exam.
What is the role of the SAP in the evaluation, referral, and treatment process of an employee who has violated DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations?
- Making 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;
- Referring the employee to an appropriate education and/or treatment program;
- Conducting 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;
- Providing the DER with a follow-up drug and/or alcohol testing plan for the employee; and
- Providing the employee and employer with recommendations for continuing education and/or treatment. (This is the employee's financial responsibility if not covered by their insurance and is separate from my fee.)
An SAP is not an advocate for the employer or employee. The SAP's function is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.
How do I know if I fall under DOT requirements?
Employers with Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated safety sensitive employees are subject to the regulatory requirements specified in 49 CFR Part 40 regarding drug and alcohol misuse prevention. Any employer required to comply with DOT regulations must provide an individual who has tested positive for drugs or alcohol on a DOT mandated test with information about a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
What credential does an SAP have?
An SAP must have one of the following credentials:
- A licensed physician [Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy];
- A licensed or certified social worker;
- A licensed or certified psychologist;
- A licensed or certified employee assistance professional;
- A licensed or certified marriage and family therapist; or
- A drug and alcohol counselor certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission (NAADAC); or by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (ICRC); or by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates/Master Addictions Counselor (NBCC).
Is what I say to an SAP confidential?
The regulation that guides SAPs is not subject to HIPAA rules.
Accordingly, SAPs need no written authorizations from employees to conduct SAP evaluations, to confer with employers, to confer with MROs, to confer with appropriate education and treatment providers, or to provide SAP reports to employers.
The consultation fee is $525.
This includes the initial evaluation, referral, tracking for the initial referral and the follow-up evaluation.
Consultation for additional referral tracking and follow-up is billed at an hourly rate of $175.
Travel expenses are billed separate from the consultation fee.