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A U.S. Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) operates as a “gatekeeper” of the return to-duty process and provides an important service to the employee, the employer and the traveling public.

Specifically, Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP’s) evaluate workers who have violated a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol program regulation and make recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing and continuing care.


SAP’s provide the following services for their clients:

  • Conduct comprehensive face-to-face assessment and clinical evaluation to determine what level of assistance the employee needs in resolving problems associated with alcohol use or prohibited drug use;

  • Recommend a course of education and/or treatment with which the employee must comply prior to returning to DOT safety-sensitive duty;

  • Serve as a referral source to assist the employee’s entry into an acceptable program;

  • Conduct a face-to-face follow-up evaluation with the employee to determine if the individual has demonstrated successful compliance with recommendations of the initial evaluation and has made appropriate clinical progress sufficient to return to duty;

  • Develop and direct a follow-up testing plan for the employee returning to work following successful compliance; and

  • Provide the employee and employer with recommendations for continuing care.

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