Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published Alcohol and Drug Testing Rules for safety-sensitive transportation workers on February 15, 1994. The rules identify Certified Employee Assistance Professionals (CEAPs), and five other types of professionals, as eligible to carry out the functions of a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) if the professional meets two other criteria provided in the rules.

CommunityCare has four (4) Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) who provide services for over 100 Department of Transportation companies covering over 10,000 safety-sensitive employees.

What is a SAP? What are SAP Functions?

In order to legally function as a SAP, a professional must be one of the following:

  • Licensed or Certified Employee Assistance Professional
  • Licensed M.D. or D.O.
  • Licensed or Certified Social Worker
  • Licensed or Certified Psychologist
  • Alcohol and drug abuse counselor certified at the national level by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors.
  • Substance abuse counselor certified by the NAADAC Certification Commission or ICRC Certification Commission.

In addition, to qualify as a SAP, eligible professionals must meet two additional criteria:

  • "Knowledge of," and,
  • "Clinical experience in" the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and drug-related disorders.

The rules do not precisely spell out what constitutes training and experience; an eligible professional is responsible for assessing whether his or her background meets the criteria; employers, who are held responsible under the rules, must carefully evaluate qualifications before hiring a person to perform SAP services.

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