Are You Worried About The Career Impact Of A Failed Drug Test?

As a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, did you fail a random, pre-employment, or post-accident drug test? Perhaps you’re a truck, train, or taxi driver who tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, or another substance.

Did you violate Department of Transportation (DOT) drug policy while working as a pilot, flight attendant, pipeline construction worker, or emergency response personnel? If you are in a “safety-sensitive” position as defined by the U.S. government, your employer may have told you that you need to complete an assessment before coming back to work.

Are you intimidated by the substance abuse evaluation process? Perhaps you’re confused about the program’s requirements, cost, or time commitment. This uncertainty—combined with your need to get back to work quickly—may have you feeling frustrated and worried.

The process of obtaining your return-to-duty clearance will take time. By working with a skilled and sympathetic DOT Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), you can take some of the pain out of the process and ensure that you’ll be treated with respect along the way.

Thousands Of People Are Required To Do SAP Evaluations For Work

Each year, more than 40,000 U.S. workers from a variety of backgrounds fail a DOT drug test.[1] [2] Most tests are instituted due to an employer’s “reasonable suspicion.” The rest are the result of employers requiring return-to-duty, follow-up, post-accident, pre-employment, random, and periodic tests.[3]

Some people begin substance use long before entering their fields. Others start using illicit substances in an attempt to cope with the stress, long hours, and poor working conditions of their jobs. In fact, one study showed that truck drivers who use cocaine or amphetamines typically do so just to stay awake for their shifts, which can last up to 11 hours straight.[4] Regardless of the reason behind a failed drug test, a professional evaluation is required before returning to safety-sensitive work.

The evaluation process can be a hassle, but it isn’t meant to be punitive or unfair. According to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, the program’s goal is to protect the millions of people who “depend on the operators of aircraft, trains, trucks, and buses to perform in a safe and responsible manner,” while also ensuring that “no individual’s reputation or career development is unduly threatened or harmed.”[5]

Substance abuse evaluation is the first step in the DOT’s compliance program. It creates a pathway for affected individuals in a variety of safety-sensitive industries to recover from any substance abuse problems they may have, prove their sobriety, and return to work.

Take The Pain Out Of Substance Abuse Assessment By Working With A Skilled Professional

The assessment process is simple. It includes an interview-based evaluation and a standardized test. The information collected will allow your SAP to determine whether you have a substance abuse problem, and if so, how severe it is. Your SAP will then create a treatment plan—which may involve education, counseling, and/or periodic drug testing—and connect you with the resources necessary to complete it.

The assessment process is mandated by the DOT and will be essentially the same regardless of which SAP you choose to work with. However, you can streamline the process and minimize the hassle involved by working with a skilled SAP.

If you decide to work with me to complete your SAP evaluation, I will ensure that your assessment is:


Suddenly losing your only source of income can be incredibly stressful. Your goal is likely to start the process, complete treatment, and return to work as quickly as possible. When you contact me for a substance abuse assessment, I will secure the earliest possible appointment for you, typically within the next week.

At the end of your assessment appointment, I will give you an individual treatment plan. Unlike some other SAPs, I’ll take into account your location and schedule when referring you to counselors, classes, or drug testing sites. This will allow you to complete your treatment with minimal delay and disruption.


Considering how stressful it can be to fail a drug test, the last thing you need is to have someone judge or attack you for your substance use. Most people don’t need anyone to explain to them how serious their situation is; they just need support and guidance. My primary goal is to ensure public safety, but I believe it’s possible to accomplish that without disrespecting people or destroying their careers.


Addiction doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, or economic status—and neither do I. I welcome individuals from all cultures and backgrounds, and I am sensitive to each person’s needs. For example, if you would prefer to work with a substance abuse counselor who specializes in a certain area, offers a sliding scale payment plan, or is available on evenings or weekends, I will do my best to find one for you.

My recent training and ongoing education in this field allow me to complete each step of the process quickly, accurately, and in compliance with DOT regulations. I will guide you through your assessment and treatment from start to finish, answering any questions you may have along the way.

As you consider using my services as a DOT Substance Abuse Professional, you may be wondering. . .

Is it absolutely mandatory to complete this process?

The only way to avoid completing it is to find a new position that isn’t safety-sensitive (or to retire). Because of a new law that went into effect in January 2020, employers must list all of their employees’ failed drug tests and assessment results in a national database.[1] It also requires employers to reference this database when hiring someone or welcoming them back to work. Until you receive authorization to return to safety-sensitive work, your employment options in your current field will be extremely limited.

I’ve heard the evaluation process is expensive. Is it really worth the investment?

For a Substance Abuse Professional, providing assessment, support, and follow-up is costly and time-consuming. As such, SAP evaluations aren’t cheap. However, the cost of no longer being able to work in your field will likely be much higher. Investing in the process now sets you up for financial success in the future.

This is confusing. What if I still have questions?

Most people starting the assessment process aren’t sure where to begin or how to complete the requirements. When you arrive for your initial assessment, I’ll explain the process in detail and answer any questions you may have. I am also available via phone or email if you have questions anytime between that first assessment and your follow-up return-to-duty evaluation. If you encounter any roadblocks along the way, just let me know and I can help you out.

Don’t Let A Failed DOT Drug Test Ruin Your Career

The sooner you complete a DOT assessment, the sooner you can complete your treatment and get back to work. Contact me  if you have questions or to schedule your assessment.









2512 S. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK 73109
(405) 446-8338

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