Substance Abuse Professional

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Services in Katy, Ft. Bend County, and West Houston, TX

Serving Katy, Ft. Bend County, and West Houston Employees in Safety Sensitive positions as described by the Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • Have you recently failed a drug test in a “safety sensitive” job?
  • Have you been entered into a “return to duty” process by your employer and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations?
  • Are you in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), United States Coast Guard (USCG) or Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and failed a drug test?
  • Do you need a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) in Katy, Ft. Bend County, or West Houston?
  • Do you feel anxious, concerned, or a little overwhelmed by the system and what’s happening in the return to duty process?
  • Are you subject to “CFR 49 Part 40?” 
  • Are you concerned about the amount of time it is going to take to return to work?

What’s Going On?

When an employee in a company subject to DOT regulations fails or refuses to complete a drug and alcohol test, the employer is required to immediately remove the employee from the safety sensitive job function. In order to return to work, the employee needs to complete a series of evaluations and tasks with professionals who have been trained and certified through requirements developed by the DOT. That professional is an SAP. An SAP has the education, training, and credentials required to evaluate persons and to develop an appropriate plan that meets DOT guidelines.

DOT regulations (found in CFR 49 Part 40) describe the rules and process that employers and employees follow to respond to the need for care and concern about public safety. All employees in safety sensitive job roles mandated by DOT are required to adhere to these specific drug and alcohol testing regulations. The CFR 49 Part 40 regulations define the SAP role as: “professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.” It’s important to know that it’s not the SAP that decides if an employee can return to work. The regulations give the return to work responsibility to the employer.

If a failed drug test has happened to you, you may be wondering what happens now?

I am a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) in Katy, TX who has been serving Katy, Ft. Bend County, and West Houston professionals with the evaluation of their substance use disorders and in designing appropriate treatment.

As an SAP, I am not “an advocate for the employer nor the employee.” My “function is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee.” (Source: ttps://www.transportation.gov/odapc/sap) It is important to note that the SAP does not provide counseling of the employee. Instead, the SAP is the professional who makes the recommendations for the appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare.

As an SAP, I can serve as a trained and certified professional, sensitive to your needs in the process by providing professional service, developing a treatment recommendation that has clinical integrity, scheduling a timely initial evaluation, and delivering professional and prompt communication as needed between parties.

The Return-To-Duty process typically includes 2 face-to-face sessions with an SAP, one at the beginning for the evaluation and one at the completion of the recommended treatment. I will schedule your first session quickly and complete the necessary report with recommendation in a timely manner.

What Does the Process Look Like?

  1. Employee fails or refuses to test
  2. Employee is suspended from safety sensitive job
  3. Employee is entered into the DOT regulated process
  4. Employee consults a Medical Review Officer (MRO) medical professional for evaluation
  5. Employee sees an SAP for evaluation
  6. SAP develops a recommended course of treatment and/or education, writes, and submits report
  7. Employee completes program developed by SAP
  8. Employee attends final evaluation by SAP
  9. Employee returns to employer with completed program and is subject to follow up stipulations regarding care and continued drug/alcohol testing

What Types of Recommendations Does the SAP Make?

The recommended treatment can include educational classes, private counseling, attendance at mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Smart Recovery, or professional treatment such as residential treatment or an Intensive Outpatient Program. The SAP can recommend any of those individually or a combination. The SAP is not the provider of those services, but is the professional who evaluates what is needed, makes the treatment recommendations, communicates with the Designated Employer Representative (DER) and MRO and completes the final face to face evaluation when the employee has completed the recommended plan.

It’s my goal to work cooperatively with you to complete the process according to DOT guidelines and so that you can successfully fulfill the DOT and employer requirements.

$575 Includes the Following:

  • Initial phone consult and scheduling of evaluation
  • Initial in person evaluation
  • Development of recommendation for education and/or treatment
  • Two (2) professional SAP reports (one initial intake and assessment and one upon completion)
  • As needed communication with MRO, DER, employer
  • Recommendation for frequency of submitting alcohol and drug testing upon return to work (required by CFR 49 Part 40)

SAP evaluation and treatment recommendation is not a billable service through insurance. A $300 down payment must be made at the time of scheduling the initial evaluation and all intake forms must be completed online prior to the initial evaluation. The balance is due upon initial service.

Substance Abuse Professional Services in Katy, Ft. Bend County, West Houston, and the Houston Metro Area

Serving Employers with DOT Regulated, Safety Sensitive Positions

  • Are you an employer with workers in safety sensitive positions?
  • Do you need to provide training each year to employees and managers on topics of substance abuse and chemical dependency?
  • Are you a manager or supervisor subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated, “CFR 49 Part 40” in one of the following?
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

As a Substance Abuse Professional, (SAP), I provide the following services for Employees:

  • Initial DOT SAP Assessments and treatment plan
  • Consultation with Medical Review Officers (MRO)
  • Level of Care Recommendation and Referral
  • Interaction and communication with the Designated Employer Representative (DER) as needed
  • Appropriate paperwork in a professional and timely manner
  • Follow-up Evaluation and Compliance Interview
  • Case Management and Monitoring

As a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), I provide the following services for Employers:

  • Professional care in SAP role for return-to-duty process
  • Designated Employer Representative training (DER)
  • DOT Supervisor Training
  • Individual, marriage, and family counseling
  • Manager and Employee training for substance abuse topics

I am a professional in the Katy, Ft. Bend County, and West Houston area specializing in the treatment of High Functioning Alcoholics and High Functioning Addicts. I am experienced in working with the unique needs and circumstances presented by professionals who have a substance use problem or substance misuse and helping them successfully build habits that develop and sustain wellness.

I am skilled in training, teaching, and presenting and would welcome the opportunity to help you with your training needs as it relates to substance abuse and mental health.



903A Avenue D
Katy, TX 77493

recoverytherapist@joanneketch.com
(281) 740-7563




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