What will actually happen during the substance abuse evaluation?
The evaluation will include a clinical interview (this is just conversation), a standardized instrument (written or oral questions), and a depression screen (also may be written or oral questions). The SAP must get information about work, family, health, and alcohol and drug history. The SAP will not conduct a drug screen as part of the evaluation.
What if I don’t like the SAP’s recommendation?
You must fulfill the recommendation of the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to complete the DOT return to duty process. You are not permitted by DOT to go to another SAP once you have been evaluated.
How long does the return to duty process take?
The length of the process can vary greatly. It depends on the type of program you have been required to complete, and how quickly you can get enrolled. The programs are recommended to meet the individual’s needs, therefore, length of time required and costs are varied.
I did not test positive, I just did not go for the drug screen. Why do I have to go through this process?
Because DOT regulations require it! A “refusal” is a violation just as a positive drug or alcohol screen is a violation. It is important to go straight to be tested when asked, and follow procedures as instructed at the collection site. Failure to comply with regulations at the collection site can result in a “refusal.”
What if I was terminated by my employer?
Even if you were terminated, your employer is required to give you names of Substance Abuse Professionals in your area. You must complete the return to duty process before returning to DOT safety sensitive employment with any company. This is required for positive pre-employment screens as well.