Return to Duty/SAP Process

Return to Duty/SAP Process services offered in Sharpstown, Houston and Temple, TX

If you need a commercial driver’s license for your job, you’ll be subject to DOT drug and alcohol tests. Should your test be positive, you’ll need to complete the DOT return to duty/SAP process procedure before returning to work. Katrina Gary-Forté, PhD, at Trade It In in Houston, Texas, is a substance abuse professional (SAP) who can guide you through the process and approve your return to duty/SAP process. To arrange your evaluation, call the Trade It In office today or go online to request an appointment.

What is a return to duty/SAP process?

Return to duty/SAP process is a process you must complete if you fail a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol test. This test is one that each employee regulated by the DOT takes before their employment begins, after an auto accident, and at random times during their career.

The DOT drug and alcohol test uses urinalysis to detect any evidence that you’ve used drugs or consumed alcohol.

What drugs would cause a positive DOT test?

You could receive a positive DOT drug test result if your urine contains substances such as:

  • Marijuana (cannabis)
  • Amphetamines (speed)
  • MDMA (molly or ecstasy)
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids (heroin or prescription painkillers like oxycodone)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Even if you took these substances some time ago, traces of them (metabolites) could still be present in your body. Sometimes, you can appeal a positive drug test by proving you have a valid prescription for the drug in question.

If you fail your DOT drug test, you may lose your job. However, if your employer chooses to keep you on, you won’t be able to work until you complete the return to duty/SAP process.

What does the return to duty/SAP process involve?

The return to duty/SAP process consists of:


The first step is a substance use evaluation with a professional (SAP) like Dr. Gary-Forté at Trade It In. She specializes in drug rehabilitation and has considerable experience assessing people with substance use and addiction disorders.


After your evaluation with Dr. Gary-Forté, she recommends a suitable treatment program for you. You must complete this program or participate sufficiently in an ongoing program to achieve your rehabilitation goals.


When you’ve completed your treatment, Dr. Gary-Forté confirms when you’re eligible for retesting so you can do a supervised drug test. You must pass this return to duty/SAP process drug test to get back to work.

Following a successful return to duty/SAP process test, you must undergo at least six random, observed DOT follow-up drug tests the year after your return. Unannounced testing might continue for five years, depending on Dr. Gary-Forté's report to your employer.

If you want to know more about the return to duty/SAP process, talk to Dr. Gary-Forté at Trade It In. You can call the office or go online to book an appointment.