What are the Different Panel Drug Tests?

drug test panel options

Are you searching for the best drug test for your company’s needs? You may have heard of 5-panel drug tests or 10-panel drug tests, but there are also many other options which can be beneficial, including 5-, 7-, 10-, and 12-panel tests.

Rapid Detect offers a wide range of drug and alcohol test options, including all the above, but which is best suited for your business’s unique needs? Here, we explain what the different panel drug tests are, including what they mean, what they test for, and which industries use them most commonly. We also cover drug detection windows to ensure you have everything you need to make the best decision for your drug and alcohol testing specifications.

5-Panel Drug Test

A standard 5-panel drug test is what most workplaces will use for their drug tests. Frequently used by government agencies specifically, a 5-panel drug urine test checks for five commonly abused substances:

  • THC (marijuana)
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • And amphetamines

These drug tests are also the standard for the Federal Government’s Mandatory Guidelines for Workplace Drug Testing.

The term 5-panel drug test comes from the 5 actual panels in the detection, or immunoassay process. These panels, or strips, each represent one of the 5 substances being tested for. If the test detects no substances, the test is considered negative. However, there are three possible categories of positive tests if substances are detected.

The first category is a False Positive: While incredibly rare, false positives are a possibility. Certain, but not all employers will allow for a verification test if you believe this to be the case.

The second category is a True Positive: This means that the test has correctly identified the tested for substances in the body.

The third category is a True Positive with Medically Acceptable Documentation: While the test has found traces of the tested for substances, there is a medically acceptable explanation.

Depending on which outcome you face, your next steps will differ. We recommend always confirming any of the above results to confirm or deny any false or true positives.

7-Panel Drug Test

A 7-panel drug test is often conducted when companies wish to test for the abuse of prescription drugs. While legal, these substances can impair a person’s ability to do their job. Examples include drivers for public transportation and in industries requiring alertness for the operation of heavy machinery.

The standard 7-panel drug test adds two more substances to the list, bolded below for clarity:

  • THC (marijuana)
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates

10-Panel Drug Test

Commonly administered to those in law enforcement and occupational medicine, the 10-panel drug test is also used to identify whether an individual is violating their probation terms. These tests are used for those who wish to detect a wider variety of substances. Many civil servants must pass this test to continue work in a dangerous role, or one which is dedicated to protecting the safety of others.

Adding three more substances to the list, a 10-panel drug test checks for:

  • THC (marijuana)
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Quaaludes

12-Panel Drug Test

Finally, a 12-panel drug test is often given as an extension of the 10-panel test. These tests will typically be used to identify the presence of extended opiates, prescription painkillers, and trace amounts of other controlled substances.

Substances tested for under a 12-panel test include:

  • THC (marijuana)
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Quaaludes
  • Ecstasy/MDA
  • Oxycodone/Percocet

Drug Detection Windows

The duration that a drug can be detected by one of these tests depends on many factors. The type of drug, the dosage taken, and the individual’s metabolism are some of the most common differentiating factors. However, there are certain approximate detection times for each controlled substance. Note that these numbers are not meant as an authoritative guide, and illicit substances may still be detected before or after what is listed below.

Amphetamines: one to three days

Cocaine Metabolites: one to four days

Marijuana Metabolites (THC): one day to five weeks

Opiates: one day to 1 week

Phencyclidine (PCP): two to eight days

Barbiturates: two to 14 days

Benzodiazepines: one to six weeks

Methadone: one to seven days

Methaqualone: two weeks

Propoxyphene: six hours to two days

Rapid Detect: America’s Choice for Quality, Low-Cost Drug Testing Supplies

The only things that can match Rapid Detect’s quality products are our personalized customer service and competitive prices. We seek to provide you with an edge in your industry by giving you access to the highest quality affordable drug and alcohol testing supplies. With an extensive background in drug identification, we have the experience necessary to always provide superior services to you. We are your one-stop shop for online employee drug identification testing kits.

If you are seeking more information on any of our drug testing products, or want to purchase tests for your own company, please contact us by visiting our contact page or by calling us at 1-888-404-0020. We look forward to assisting you.

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