(From an internet discussion group; conversation between myself (ordinary font) and a certified alcohol and drug counselor from Washington (italics).

     "You said you resumed 'moderate' drinking. Did you find it difficult or impossible to abstain from drinking when you were put in the treatment program?"

     Actually I abstained completely for about six months. I was depressed and didn't feel like drinking, eating, socializing, or doing a lot of other previously pleasurable things. I eventually resumed occasional drinking, after making a commitment to moderate and responsible drinking behavior. I can certainly abstain when it is necessary/appropriate to do so. That's what moderation is all about. I have been "surprise tested" approximately 135 times since the original "positive" Breathalyzer two years ago, and of course there has been no trace of alcohol or drugs. The tests would have been just as negative if I had never been forced into the rehab program, but had merely been given a disciplinary suspension comparable to that meted out to employees for other safety violations.

     "Also I have asked you several times what tests you were administered by your treatment center and/or your EAP. You seem to be ignoring this question. So I ask again what test or tests where you administered? The AUDIT perhaps, or the Alcohol Use Inventory, the MAST? Maybe the CAGE? If DOT requirements were met I'm sure that you were administered some kind of test."

     Thank you for asking; I really don't recall your having asked before. No, I was never administered any of the tests or questionnaires you mention, and indeed never heard of them until I learned about them recently on the Net. That's the whole point; if you go back and read my posts on the thread "Rule E-2, Subsection 10.1" you will find my company's alcohol misuse policy verbatim, and it requires no evaluation or testing at all, but simply an undefined "rehabilitation" orchestrated by the EAP for EVERY employee who has a first-time positive Breathalyzer.

     Yes, as a transit worker I am subject to DOT regulations, but these regs require "evaluation and treatment, if necessary" as a MINIMUM. So, any individual agency under DOT jurisdiction, such as mine, can exceed the minimum by requiring "treatment" for ALL "positive" employees. The "evaluation" was a sham and a mere paperwork formality; I was labeled a "long-term alcohol abuser" with no testing, no evidence, and certainly nothing I ever said or did. In fact, the EAP manager even put in the "report" that I had no disciplinary record and an excellent attendance record -- hardly consistent with being a "long-term alcohol abuser" who needs to permanently abstain because alcohol had made my life "unmanageable".