10 Panel Drug Tests: What Employers and Employees Should Expect

10 panel drug tests

10 panel drug tests

What is a 10-Panel Drug Test?

Less common than other drug tests, the 10-panel drug test remains a viable option for employers, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and federal, state, or local government employees.

The 10-panel drug test is capable of detecting five of the most commonly misused prescription drugs (such as anti-depressants and opiates) as well as five other types of “illicit substances” such as street drugs.

Urine tests are the most common form of 10-panel drug screening, because they are least invasive and because many substances show up in urine. However, other options such as blood tests are available.

Below, you will learn what substances the test screens for, how accurate the results are, the detection window for screened substances, and more.

What Substances Does the Test Screen For?

A ten-panel drug test is a urine or blood test that screens for the following substances:

*Barbiturates (Phenobarbital, Seconal)

*Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Valium)

*Cannabis (marijuana, hash)

*Cocaine (crack, coke, powder, snow, blow, bump)

*Methadone (dollies, dolls, mud, junk)

*Methamphetamine and amphetamines (including Ecstasy)

*Methaqualone (Quaaludes)

*Opiates (codeine, hydrocodone, morphine)

*PCP/Angel Dust (Phencyclidine)

*Propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvon-N, PP-Cap)

The five most commonly misused prescription drugs are included in this list because they have major clinical implications when detected.

The other five illicit substances are also screened for mainly to incriminate individuals during parole or probation violations.

The ten-panel drug test screens for the substances listed above. However, it is important to note that other drugs are also screened using different panel urine or blood tests. For example, amphetamine use can be detected through a five-panel test, and MDMA screenings will show up in an eight-panel test.

The most commonly used form of this type of testing is the ten-panel because they are the least invasive and because many substances show up in urine. Other options such as blood tests are available but have slightly longer detection windows than urine samples do.

Detection Time Windows of the Different Substances

The time it takes for drugs to show up on a test can range anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days after ingestion. That being said, drug detection times vary based on the type of drug being tested, the dosage, the type of sample, and even the individual’s metabolism.

It’s important to remember that drug testing can only evaluate a person’s history of substances in the system. Accordingly, drug tests are “searching” for the drug or other metabolites created during the metabolism process. These compounds must be present at a certain concentration in order to be detected accurately.

The following is a general guide to common detection windows based on the substance. This is a helpful resource overviewing common/average detection times, not a concrete outline of exact time frames.

Substance Potential Detection Windows
amphetamines Up to ~2 days
barbiturates 2 to 15 days
benzodiazepines 2 to 10 days
cannabis 3 to 30 days
cocaine 2 to 10 days
methadone 2 to 7 days
methaqualone 10 to 15 days
opioids 1 to 3 days
phencyclidine ~8 days or less
propoxyphene ~2 days or less


Who Takes This Test?

Some common reasons someone might need this type of drug test include pre-employment screenings and ensuring an individual meets probation/parole requirements.

Not all employers who drug test use the full 10-panel option. In fact, the majority of employers use the 5-panel drug test with success.

Instead, 10-panel drug tests are used primarily for employment where the safety and wellbeing of others are at stake—for example, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and government workers. Drug tests are not required for all job applicants, but many employers require pre-employment screenings.

For people in recovery, drug testing can be a great tool to identify relapse patterns and get individuals the help they need.

How to Prepare

Preparation for a drug test is necessary to ensure accurate and reliable results.

Avoid drinking excessive amounts of fluids before the test, and only drink two to three hours prior. Bring your identification with you to the testing facility but be sure not to eat anything for at least 2-3 hours before this too (water or other drinks like coffee are usually okay).

A private bathroom is the preferred site for a urine drug test, with a door that extends to the floor. You will be given a cup to urinate into in this stall. In rare circumstances, someone of the same gender might monitor you while doing so.

Depending on the type of test you take and the efficiency of the testing center, your results should come back anywhere between two hours or a few days. If there are any abnormal findings, they need to be followed up on right away by your doctor or healthcare provider. Typically, if the first test comes back positive, your employer won’t be notified until a follow-up confirmation test can be conducted.

Your employer should provide you with information and instructions relating to the testing facility, including the dates set for your test.

Getting Results

In most cases, you’ll receive your results within a few days. Results are typically emailed to the subject of the test and their employer. However, some employers have an online portal where they can check on the status of drug testing as well for themselves or employees.

The main goal behind getting tested is not to catch people who may be taking drugs recreationally but rather those who are abusing substances at work.

Your test can either give a positive result, negative result, or be inconclusive.

Positive results mean that one or more of the panel drugs was detected within the allotted concentration.

A negative result means that drugs weren’t detected in your system at the cut-off concentration, or at all.

And finally, inconclusive or “invalid” results mean the test failed in some way. Whether the testing process was compromised, the test itself was damaged in some way, or for some other reason, it’s likely you will have to retake the test. These situations are relatively rare but can be a possible outcome.

Rapid Detect – Your Quality Drug Test Provider

The 10 panel drug test is a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to help you keep your workplace, school, or organization safe. It’s also an effective way for employees to monitor their own health. If you need more information about the various substances this test screens for, how soon they can be detected in someone’s system, who typically takes these types of tests, what it feels like to take one of these tests, or what the potential results could mean then we’re here for you! Contact us today, and together we’ll make sure that any concerns are put at ease thanks to our expert knowledge on all things related to substance abuse testing.