Recent reports found that substance abuse in Georgia is on the rise. Thousands lose their lives to drug and alcohol-related incidents each year. Thousands more survive but face serious consequences such as job restrictions or job losses.
If you are a DOT employee who has failed the DOT drug or alcohol test, your work duties are likely restricted as a result. What can you do to turn things around?
First thing’s first: schedule your appointment with a substance abuse professional (aka SAP). Then, prepare for the substance abuse evaluation that will bring you one step closer to getting back on your feet.
What should you expect from your substance abuse evaluation? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more.
The First Steps of Your Substance Abuse Evaluation
If you schedule an appointment with a Diversion Center SAP, you will likely be able to come in that same day. We understand the importance of getting back to your full line of duties and work hard to expedite the process.
When you arrive, you will be required to fill out a series of paperwork outlining your experience and history with substance abuse. This may include the frequency of your substance abuse, the substances you have consumed, and your family history of substance abuse.
Discussing Your Case With Your SAP
After filling out the paperwork, you will have an in-person meeting with your designated SAP. Together, you will go over the information you’ve provided in the paperwork.
Your SAP may ask for more details regarding some of your answers or they may ask questions that were not covered in the paperwork. Ultimately, their goal is to determine the extent of your substance abuse in order to come up with an appropriate recovery and rehabilitation plan.
Remember that your SAP is on your side. The more honest you are in answering their questions, the better they will be able to help you.
Creating a Plan With Your SAP
Once you have gone over your case with your SAP, it is time to come up with a recovery and rehabilitation plan. These plans typically consist of two parts.
The first part consists of a more active approach in addressing your substance abuse. If you are in need of detoxing from a substance, your SAP will help you find the proper facility and program to do so. Some options include in-patient programs, out-patient programs, and medically monitored detoxing.
The second part consists of an educational approach to substance abuse prevention. You may be required to take courses that cover topics like the dangers of abusing substances while operating vehicles or other heavy machinery. The objective of these educational courses is to remind you of the importance of staying sober as a DOT employee, especially while on the job.
Frequently Asked Questions About Substance Abuse Evaluations in Georgia
Now that you have a sense of what to expect from your substance abuse evaluation, let’s address questions you may have regarding the process. We’ve selected the three questions we hear most often in order to provide the most clarity for you as you navigate this situation. Read on for these important questions and answers.
Do I Have to See a Specific Substance Abuse Professional?
Is it possible for you to check into a rehab program of your own choosing? Can you set up an appointment with any registered drug counselor, or do you need to go through a certified SAP?
You are free to pursue any course of action you choose in addition to seeing an SAP and following their plan. However, you will not be able to resume your full duties with the DOT until you meet with your SAP. Fortunately, we have plenty of offices around Georgia, making it easy to find a certified SAP near you.
Who Will Pay for My Substance Abuse Evaluation?
Many people wonder if they will need to pay for their own SAP evaluation. This is often a case-by-case situation that you will want to discuss with your employer.
In some cases, DOT employers will cover some or all of the cost. However, it is not a guarantee. You may need to cover these costs yourself, in which case you may want to contact your insurance and discuss potential coverage.
What Happens if I Do Not Follow the Plan Created by My SAP?
Can you choose not to go through with the plan created by your SAP? If you do not move forward with your SAP’s designated plan, you will not be able to resume your full duties with the DOT.
It is also worth noting that quitting and applying for a new job will not wipe your record clean. Your DOT employer is required by law to share information about your failed DOT drug or alcohol test with your new employer. If you move to another department in the DOT, your new supervisor will simply pick up in your back-to-work process where your former supervisor left off.
Do I Need to Follow Up With My SAP?
When you have completed your SAP plan, you must report back to your SAP. They will determine whether or not you are ready to resume your full work duties. They will also lay out any accountability programs or courses of action you must complete moving forward.
Schedule Your SAP Evaluation in Georgia Today
If you have failed your DOT drug or alcohol test in Georgia, you are not alone. Unfortunately, substance abuse in Georgia is increasing. However, there is hope to get you back on your feet.
In order to get back to work, you will need to start with a substance abuse evaluation. Select the Diversion Center location closest to you and schedule your SAP evaluation today.