The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.
As a SAP you represent the major decision point (and in some cases the only decision point) an employer may have in choosing whether or not to place an employee behind the steering wheel of a school bus, in the cockpit of a plane, at the helm of an oil tanker, at the throttle of a train, in the engineer compartment of a subway car, or at the emergency control valves of a natural gas pipeline. Your responsibility to the public is enormous!
As a SAP you are advocate for neither the employer nor the employee. Your function is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.
With the above in mind, it is important for SAPs to fully understand and comply with the regulations. Therefore, the SAP should be familiar with 49 CFR Part 40 while paying particular attention to the following Subparts:
- Subpart O - Substance Abuse Professional and Return-to-Duty Process
- Subpart P - Confidentiality and Release of Information
- Subpart Q - Roles and Responsibilities of Service Agents
- Subpart R - Public Interest Exclusions
- Appendix E to Part 40 - SAP equivalency Requirements for Certification Organizations
- Substance Abuse Professional Guidelines
- List of Substance Abuse Professional Training/Exam Resources
- Part 40 Q&As
- National Insititute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Insittute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)
- Employees Assistance Professionals Association
- International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC)
- National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
- National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, Inc.
- Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association
- National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. and Affiliates
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- The American Counseling Association