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May 2020: Clearinghouse Fixes & More

The Clearinghouse Has Fixed the Return-To-Duty Test Date Problem

Some employers refused to hire a driver because the Return-to-duty test date on the Clearinghouse record was blank.  Those employers didn’t understand that only an employer can order a return-to-duty test.  The employer (not the SAP) must then enter the date of the negative return-to-duty test on the driver’s record.  The Clearinghouse has made a change to the screen that should correct the problem.

ODAPC's Clarification Ends on June 30

ODAPC’s clarification allowing SAPs to conduct assessments via Skype or telehealth ends on June 30.  The face-to-face requirement will be enforced starting on July 1.  Part 40.365(b)(8) says that ODAPC could issue a PIE for a SAP who conducts assessments other than by face-to-face.  Remember:  ODAPC didn’t change the rule.  ODAPC merely said that until the end of June they would “look the other way”.  It’s still a violation; it just isn’t being enforced.

SAP Update Training Dates

 Tamara Cagney, Ed.D., RN, CEAP, Lead Trainer 
  • Baltimore, July 10-11 (Fri/Sat)
  • Denver, September 18-19 (Fri/Sat)
  • Houston, October 30-31 (Fri/Sat) (post-conference)
For info and registration,
Go to EAPA Website

Online Drug/Alcohol Education

Last week a SAP sent me a link to an online marijuana education course, and asked if I knew anything about it.  I didn’t.  But I decided to give it a try.  And I signed up for a 4-hour “Marijuana Education Course” for $25.  Here’s what happened:
  • The course was 69 pages long. 
  • A timer appears in the upper right of the screen, showing how much of the 4 hours was left
  • Most pages consisted just a single short paragraph.  Not much reading at all.
  • One long page listed the many different terms for marijuana.  (Many were new to me).
  • One page listed the jargon related to buying and selling marijuana on the street
  • One paragraph (5 sentences) about operating a vehicle when under the influence of marijuana
  • One page about medical marijuana
  • One page about recreational marijuana
  • A list of medical conditions that are sometimes alleviated by use of marijuana
  • A page of confusing and inaccurate information about workplace drug testing
  • Pages and pages of useless and boring information
 If I were a drug user, it would not have convinced me to stop using drugs.  In fact, there was nothing in the module that even suggested that I shouldn’t use drugs. 
I ended up skimming through the pages, and I finally rushed to the end.  A message appeared on the screen, telling me that there were 3 hours and 18 minutes left to my 4-hour course, and I couldn’t get my certificate until 4 hours had passed.
So, I wrote a few e-mails and returned a couple phone calls.  I went outside to pull a few weeds in the garden, and I even spread some mulch.  All the while, the timer was ticking down on 4 hours.
When I came back to my computer, there was a message on my screen, congratulating me for having completed the course.  However, I had two options before getting my certificate of completion.
  • For an additional $5.00 I could purchase a test
  • AND, for only $12.95 I could purchase a test that I was “guaranteed to pass”
I did not choose a test.  I just wanted my certificate!
All in all, this online drug education was a bust.  It would get the employee back to work with no effort, and little cost.  But in terms of educating?  Absolutely nothing.  Easy, and cheap.  But ineffective and useless.  There was no mention of public safety, which is DOT's primary goal with this regulation.

SAPlist Wants to Know: What's Been Your Experience With Online Drug Education?

So here is what I want to do.  Some SAPs have told me that they have taken an online education course.  Since online education seems to be a big black hole for most SAPs, I would like to compile a review of online education modules, with opinions and recommendations, pros and cons, from SAPs who have actually completed a course. 
If you have participated in an online education, please tell me about it.  What are your reactions, good and not so good?  (Anonymity assured).  Were you satisfied with it?  Did it cause the employee to stop using drugs?  (Or did the employee return with another violation?)

Send an e-mail to me, Lee (@)

Truckers and Prescription Medications

SAPs often ask about prohibited medications for truck drivers.  A DOT Medical Examiner wrote a helpful article in, “Overdrive”.  This is a short read.  Take a minute to read it:
As you read, there is only one prescription medication that prohibits a CDL holder from driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle, and that’s Methadone.  I get a lot of questions about Suboxone, but notice that Suboxone is “cautionary”, not prohibited.
The last paragraph of the article is particularly important.  Under federal laws, a driver is required to report all prescription medications to the DOT Medical Examiner.  49 CFR Part 382.213(d) says “An employer may require a driver to inform the employer of any therapeutic drug use.”  This is not a violation of ADA.  It is about public safety. 
As a SAP, you don’t have authority (or medical credentials) to make determinations about a driver’s prescription drug use.  But you should make sure a driver understands that they are required to tell their DOT Medical Examiner about their medications.  A Medical Examiner (not an MRO) is the final determiner of whether the driver can drive while taking prescription medications.
View Overdrive Article

SAPlist UREMINDER: SAPlist U For Your Continuing Ed Requirement

SAPlist U provides 12 hours of continuing education related to DOT's testing rules.  It is endorsed by EACC, NASW, and NBCC.  It’s online, convenient, and you can complete it at your own pace.

Go to SAPlist U Continuing Ed
Until next time,

Lee Mauk signature

Lee Mauk  | and SAPlist U
Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.

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