Some people struggle and suffer in life more than others. It is unwise to assume that everyone copes with trauma, distress, and extreme situations in the same way. This is not the case at all. If you find yourself in the habit of using and abusing drugs, it probably stems from larger life issues that you have never dealt with or resolved.
Your occupation as the operator of a commercial vehicle will not crowd out all the things that led you to substance abuse. However, as the operator of a truck, bus, airplane or other form of public transportation you are in a job of great responsibility. The lives of a great many people are in your hands, and the company that employs you must ensure that you are fit for duty.
You will be tested for drugs regularly. If you test positive, you will be immediately removed from your duties. But this need not be the end of your career. Most transportation companies maintain a rigorous drug treatment program. It is designed to help employees who have a substance abuse problem.
If you have popped positive, you will need to undergo a return-to-duty process if you are to keep your job. The first step in the process is a SAP Evaluation. What is a SAP Evaluation? The following provides the needed explanation.
SAP stands for Substance Abuse Professional. These are specially trained experts who have the competence and experience to help you return to health. SAPs have extensive expertise in substance use diagnoses and treatment, and they are certified by the Department of Transportation to work with commercial transport employees. Meeting with a SAP for an evaluation and assessment is the first step in the road toward returning to duty. Their main aim is to ensure that you have the tools to safely return to work.
As part of the evaluation, the SAP will review your case and have you complete a range of assessments. These will be used to gather information. You should answer the questions on the form honestly.
After this has been done, your SAP will outline a plan for your return-to-duty process. The plan may include substance abuse awareness classes, individual counselling, and other forms of care that are appropriate for your case. After you have completed this treatment, the SAP will sit with you for a final evaluation. They will then assess your readiness to go back to work.
You need not view the SAP as an adversary. They are there to help you get better, and to do the work necessary to resume your duties. However, it is important to remember that addiction recovery requires effort by the addict. Failure to comply with any of the treatment requirements will delay your return to work. You will not be able to do any safety-sensitive work until you have completed the SAP process.
If you have a substance abuse problem, you should seek help. You need not give up your livelihood. A SAP professional can help you get your life back on track.
Popping positive on a drug test need not be the end of your career. You will need to go through a return-to-work process. It begins with a SAP. What is a SAP Evaluation? . Learn more here.