Evolving Reflections Counseling Center

Your Trusted Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) in Las Vegas, NV

Lisa, our licensed marriage and family therapist at EVOLVING REFLECTIONS COUNSELING CENTER, is a substance abuse professional in Las Vegas, NV. Drug abuse or alcoholism has detrimental behavioral and health consequences; thus, it can stop you from working as an employee. Consider getting help from us to recover, so you can be allowed to return to your workplace. To schedule an appointment with our SAP, kindly contact us.

Who Is a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance, an SAP is a person who assesses employees who have violated the regulations of the DOT drug and alcohol program. Besides this, they make recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and continuing care.


They represent the central decision point an employer may have in choosing whether or not to return an employee to a safety-sensitive position. Examples include behind the bus’ steering wheel, in a plane cockpit, and at a train’s throttle.


An SAP’s responsibility to the public is enormous. To be clear, an SAP is not an advocate for the employer or employee. Their function is to protect the public’s interest and safety by professionally evaluating the employee and providing the appropriate recommendations.


An employee who works in a DOT-covered safety-sensitive position and has a non-negative drug and alcohol test result will be allowed to return to that safety-sensitive position once they have complied with the SAP’s recommendations, completed the return-to-duty process, and produced a negative return-to-duty drug and alcohol test result.



This gives the recovery community the validation that individuals can recover from substance use disorders and re-enter the workplace as productive employees. Moreover, this is a great step forward in acknowledging substance use disorders as illnesses that do not need to eliminate an employee from the workplace long-term.


The DOT establishes a significant role for the SAP in the return-to-work process after the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. After its passage, the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of the SAP were defined. Through experience, the DOT recognized that the SAP qualifications alone were not adequate to ensure that the SAP functions. In December 2000, the regulations were reviewed and revised with a clear mandate that SAPs have specific qualification training before performing SAP roles.


The ultimate duty of the SAP is to provide an inclusive face-to-face assessment and clinical evaluation to determine what level of care the employee needs in resolving their drug and alcohol use issues. Afterward, the SAP must recommend, at a minimum, a course of education or treatment in which the worker must comply before returning to the DOT safety-sensitive position. The work of the SAP is a significant part of the DOT’s efforts to help do America’s job as a “gatekeeper” of the return-to-duty process, which provides a vital service to the employee, employer, and traveling public.

Safety-Sensitive Position

This is any commercial transportation-related function, including moving or controlling a commercial vehicle or vessel; mechanical maintenance of vehicles and vessels; transporting hazardous materials or containers; maintaining the location of hazardous materials; and armed security.

Qualification Training

SAPs must undergo qualification training before performing their functions in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.