Do SAPs Do Drug Tests?

by Shaista Shaikh
Do SAPs Do Drug Tests?

If you’re planning to work with a SAP (substance abuse professional), chances are you recently failed or refused a drug test. Your SAP is the person who can get you back in good standing so you can re-enter your previous position. Each SAP process is slightly different, but they all involve some form of drug testing. Read on to learn if SAPs do drug tests, and when those tests may be required. 

What Does a Substance Abuse Professional Do?

Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) take on many roles, all geared toward helping people get back to work after a failed drug test. Common SAP job duties include:

  • Conduct face-to-face interviews with employees who are trying to return to work after a failed drug test
  • Create personalized plans for treatment, education, counseling, and other tasks before employees are cleared to return to work
  • Communicate with employers to keep them informed about the plan
  • Monitor each employee’s progress during the SAP program
  • Conduct a follow-up interview once the employee has completed the aforementioned tasks
  • Send clearance to the employer so an employee can be considered for re-employment
  • Arrange for follow-up drug testing for one year after the SAP program is complete

Before returning to work, employees must complete a return-to-duty drug test. This comes at the request of the employer, not the SAP. The SAP informs the employer that the employee has completed treatment and education, but they do not order the return-to-duty test. 

Do SAPs Administer Drug Tests?

SAPs do not administer drug tests. Each employee is required to complete a minimum of 6 follow-up drug tests within the first 12 months after their SAP program. The SAP will order these tests, but they do not directly administer them. This creates a set of checks and balances because a verified third party is completing the drug test. The SAP and Medical Review Officer (MRO) review these results to ensure the employee is safe to continue working.

Are Drug Tests Required in the SAP Process?

Drug tests are required during the return-to-duty process. Your SAP will not conduct the drug test, but test results can impact your SAP program. When you get back to work, you’ll have to complete a return-to-duty drug test. If you fail or refuse this drug test, you’ll need to start the SAP process over again.

If you pass the test and are able to return to work, you’ll still need to complete 6 random drug tests within the next year. These are in addition to any random drug testing your employer might do or repeat drug tests you may do for new job applications. Fail any of these, and you’ll be asked to work with a SAP once again.

American Substance Abuse Professionals is committed to helping employees mandated by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations get back to work safely. If you have a failed drug test and need a DOT-qualified SAP near you, contact ASAP.

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