Direct Observation Drug Test

The Department of Transportation requires drug tests to be taken under direct observation for the following reasons:(1) The employee attempts to tamper with his or her specimen at the collection site,(2) The medical review officer orders it.(3) The test is a follow-up test or a return to duty test.

Substance Abuse Evaluation Pre-Employment Positive Drug Test

Companies have different policies but most often they will not consider an applicant once they fail a drug test. Third party administrators ( DISA, ASAP) will exclude an individual from employment for 6 months. The best course of action is to have a substance abuse evaluation and an experienced SAP can advise you as to companies policies.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson @

What happens after you fail a drug test at work

Companies establish drug and alcohol ploicies. If you are represented by a union contact your union representative.Unions typically address this issue in their contract negotiations. Companies establish a range of different policies. They range from a second chance policy. This typically involves the employee seeking a substance abuse evaluation and complying with the recommendations. The next possibility is a suspension usually from 30-60 days which also involves a substance abuse evaluation. The final policy is termination with no possibilty to be rehired. The bottom line is if a company feels that individual is a valued employee they will work to find a way to continue employment.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP @

D.O.T. Substance Abuse referrals

According to the DOT regulation 49 CFR Part 40, all companies with safety-sensitive employees that test positive on a random, pre-employment, reasonable suspicion or post-accident test, must be given Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) referrals. If an organization fails to do so, they can be subject to severe fines by the Department of Transporation (DOT). Contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at

Nevada DUI ? California Resident

California residents who receive DUI’s in Nevada will be required to have a substance abuse evaluation. The purpose is for the court to determine the level of education or counseling it will require. Contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at for additional information.

Substance Abuse Professional Reports on Alcoholism

When a substance abuse professional diagnoses an indivivual with “alcoholism” that driver is medically disqualified and cannot return to driving by completing the SAP’s recommendations. The final step before returning to driving must be an examination by a DOT medical examiner.School bus drivers and municipalities are exemt from medical examinations.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson @

Tested Positive on Return-to-Duty Drug Test

Anyone testing postive on a return-to-duty drug test is considered in breach of his/her rehabilitation program. Do not forget that a refual to test is considerd a positive test result. The consequence for the positive test result is being placed in inactive status for three (3) years and having to reapply for active status after completing a substance abuse evaluation and complying with the recommendations.

Selecting a substance abuse evaluator.

There are a range of individuals performing substance abuse evaluations. They range from drug counselors to mental health professionals with specialized training.If you are attempting to determine if you have a substance abuse problem the drug counselor is an appropriate selection. In the event the evaluation is going to be used is a legal action or to make a custody or visitaion decision it is important that the evaluator have the strongest crenitials.

Visitation or Custody Substance Abuse Evaluations

When a drug issue arises with a parent in a visitation or custody dispute typically the court requires a substance abuse evaluation. This evaluation is conducted by a Substance Abuse Professional who also has a license in a mental health discipline. It is extremely important that the individual is careful to select an evaluator who has credentials the court will view as credible. The actual evaluation should include the following: written tests, a clinical interview, review of court documents, interviews with employer and family members, and a consultation with any mental health professionals providing services to the family. The throughness of the evaluation lends credibilty to the final conclusions and recommendations