What is a (Substance Abuse Professionals) SAP Evaluation?

Substance Abuse Professional

Guidance to Seeking a SAP Evaluation after Failing a Drug Test at Work:

In safety-sensitive industries, maintaining a drug-free workforce is of paramount importance to ensure the well-being of employees and the public. When an employee fails a drug test at work, it can be a challenging and stressful experience, potentially leading to job loss and other repercussions. However, there is a structured process in place to address such situations and provide individuals with the necessary support and guidance. Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) play a crucial role in this process, offering expert assessments and personalized treatment plans to help individuals overcome substance abuse issues. In this article, we will explore what a Substance Abuse Professional is, their role in the evaluation process, and the steps you need to take after failing a drug test at work.

What is a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)?

A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a qualified and certified expert who specializes in assessing and assisting individuals dealing with substance abuse problems. SAPs are essential in safety-sensitive industries, particularly those regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), where maintaining a drug-free workplace is crucial. They are trained to provide objective evaluations and develop personalized treatment plans for employees who have violated drug and alcohol regulations.

The Role of a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)

When an employee fails a drug test or violates any other drug and alcohol regulations at work, the employer is required to refer them to a SAP evaluation. The SAP’s primary role is to conduct a thorough assessment of the individual’s substance use history, previous treatment experiences, and personal circumstances. This assessment helps determine the severity of the substance abuse issue and the appropriate course of action.

Here’s what you can expect during a SAP evaluation:

1. Comprehensive Assessment: The SAP will conduct a confidential interview with you to gather information about your substance use patterns, any past treatment history, and any challenges you may be facing. This assessment is critical in understanding your unique situation and crafting a personalized treatment plan.

2. Evaluation and Recommendations: Based on the assessment, the SAP will determine whether you need to undergo treatment for your substance abuse problem. If treatment is necessary, the SAP will develop a detailed and individualized treatment plan that aligns with your specific needs and circumstances.

3. Treatment Referral: If the SAP determines that you require treatment, they will refer you to appropriate and specialized treatment resources. These programs are designed to address your substance abuse issues effectively and provide you with the necessary tools to achieve lasting recovery.

4. Follow-Up Evaluations: Throughout the treatment process, the SAP will conduct follow-up evaluations to monitor your progress in recovery. These evaluations are crucial in determining whether you have successfully met the requirements to return to work safely.

SAP Evaluation

Steps to Take After Failing a Drug Test at Work

If you have failed a drug test at work or violated any other drug and alcohol regulations, it is essential to take the following steps:

1. Acknowledge the Issue: Accepting responsibility for the failed drug test is the first step towards addressing the problem. Denial can only prolong the process and make it more challenging to seek help.

2. Notify Your Employer: If your employer has not already informed you about the failed drug test, it is crucial to communicate with them honestly and promptly. Transparency is key in resolving the situation and seeking the necessary support.

3. Seek a SAP Evaluation: Your employer will refer you to a qualified SAP for an evaluation. Embrace this opportunity to get the help you need. Remember that SAP evaluations are confidential, and the SAP’s primary goal is to assist you in your journey towards recovery.

4. Participate in Treatment, if Required: If the SAP determines that you need treatment, it is essential to actively engage in the recommended program. Embrace the opportunity to address your substance abuse issues and work towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.

5. Complete Follow-Up Evaluations: Comply with any follow-up evaluations scheduled by the SAP. These evaluations help track your progress and determine when you are fit for duty and ready to return to work.


Facing a failed drug test at work can be a challenging and unsettling experience, but remember that there is a structured process in place to support you. Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) play a crucial role in providing expert assessments and personalized treatment plans to help individuals overcome substance abuse problems. Embrace the opportunity to seek a SAP evaluation and actively participate in the treatment process, as it is the first step towards healing and achieving lasting recovery. With the support of a SAP and the appropriate treatment, you can regain control of your life and confidently return to a drug-free workplace. For extensive information please check out sapevaluation.org or please call us at 1-800-683-7745

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