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Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

A substance abuse professional, or SAP, refers to a specially trained individual who assists employees struggling with drug and/or alcohol addictions. When dealing with DOT-related substance abuse testing and assessment, the SAP represents only the regulations of the Department of Transportation and functions as a liaison between companies and their employees, administering intervention services to those in industrial fields of transportation to uphold public safety and promote a drug-free community.

When a safety-sensitive employee has a positive alcohol or drug test or refuses to take an alcohol or drug test, the employee may not return to safety-sensitive duties or be hired by a different DOT-covered employer until they have seen a SAP for an evaluation.

After the positive test or the refusal to take the test, the employee will receive a referral from the Designated Employee Representative (DER) or Medical Review Officer (MRO) to schedule an appointment with a qualified SAP for a face to face clinical evaluation.

After the initial evaluation, the SAP will provide ongoing case management and coordination of care. The SAP will be available to communicate with and update the employer as needed.

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) takes jurisdiction for the interstate trucking industry when vehicles transporting hazardous materials are traveling public roads, whether interstate or intrastate. Key Provisions of Non-DOT Standards limit who is covered under the rules and regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Employees just driving a company vehicle, not transporting cargo or passengers, are not necessarily subject to the same DOT regulations regarding drug testing Drug free workplace programs are voluntary but do fall under specific guidelines if implemented.

About Counseling

Seeking out counseling is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to counseling. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems related with alcohol & drug addiction . Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a counselor can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Counseling can help address many types of issues including codependency, conflict, stress management and general life transitions. Addiction and Recovery counseling is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking counseling. Counseling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Alcohol & Drug counselors can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as codenpency, relapse prevention,  anger management, recovery related issues. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. Counselors can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counseling include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and recovery related issues  
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Every counseling session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for alcohol & drug  counselors  to discuss the primary issues and concerns related to addiction and recovery . It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around ninty minutes. Counseling can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the counseling sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For counseling to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking counseling are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of counseling:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and Counselor. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client, however, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The counselor is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The counselor is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The counselor will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
  • In some cases disclosure may be required pursuant to a legal proceeding
  • If there is a medical emergency in which you should become incapacitated