The most common panel drug tests use urine to check for many of the legal and illicit drugs people sometimes abuse. Typically, traces of these substances in the urine mean the individual has these substances in their body. However, false positives can occur, where the test detects drugs when a person has not taken any. The tests are simple to administer and take and are widely available.
Similar tests are popular for testing potential employees, though a simpler 4- or 5-panel drug test with alcohol is more common. A panel drug test will look for 10 of the most common drugs that a person may be abusing.
6 different kinds of drug tests
This selection usually includes five common prescription medications and five illicit street drugs. This is a simple approach, as these drugs leave traces in the urine when it passes out of the body. As a study in the journal Analytical Toxicology notes, urine testing is also more likely to detect substance use than other forms of tests, such as saliva tests. There are some tests that use other substances, such as blood or hair, to test for the drugs. These may be more accurate in some cases, but the process is more complicated.
Many administrators prefer to use urine tests because of the accuracy and simplicity of the process. As the name suggests, a panel drug tests will test the person for 10 different types of drugs. These are most of the drugs people commonly abuse, including both street and prescription drugs.
Opioids come in many different forms, from prescription pills to illegal drugs. Some of the most common include:. Doctors may prescribe these drugs for certain medical issues, but they also have a risk of abuse. Several barbiturates leave similar residues that the panel drug test may pick up.
These include:. Detection times refer to the amount of time it takes for the body to get rid of the byproducts of the drugs. Detection times for different drugs vary greatly.
Detection times may depend on the type of drug, how much the person took, and how fast their metabolism works. Another important fact to note is that a panel drug test will not tell if the person is currently on the drug.
Drug detection factors
The tests measure byproducts in the body that come from breaking down the drug, so they cannot detect how much of the drug is circulating in the body. The following table provides a rough estimate for detection times for various drugs via urine tests:.
However, there are also some kits a person can buy and send to the lab themselves. This latter option may be a bit more tricky, however. Most companies or doctors will work directly with a lab that analyzes the of the test. Going through them to get the test done is a simple, direct approach. If a company or organization requires a person to take a panel drug test, they will generally give them notice of about 24 hours.
Some professions may require the person to agree to random drug testing where they have little to no knowledge of the test beforehand.
What to know about the panel drug test
The test administrators may have special preparation instructions as well. These may include not urinating for a couple of hours before the test or avoiding drinking extra water before the test. The test environment may differ depending on who administers the test.
Bathrooms are common locations, as these tests require urine. In some cases, the administrator may ask a person to use a particular bathroom stall to take the test. If an administrator is concerned with contamination, they may take precautions such as turning off tap water in the bathroom or adding a dye to the toilet water. This can make the test more accurate and prevent tampering. In rare cases, a same sex administrator stays in the room with the person to be sure they take the test. The test itself is straightforward.
What are drugs?
The person starts urinating and collects urine in the collection cup during the middle of their urine stream. They then close the container with the lid and give the sample to the test administrator. When they receive the sample, the lab will test the urine for the 10 different drugs. Some tests offer onsite that can analyze the urine samples straightaway. With that said, most samples will go to a lab for analysis, which can take a few days.
Links to labcorp specialty testing groups
This finding suggests they have used the drug recently. As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration point out, federal employees and employees in many other safety fields have the right to have a second lab test their specimen if they receive a positive result.
This precaution helps protect the individual from disciplinary action due to false positives. A negative result indicates that the drugs tested for are not present or are not present in a high enough quantity to detect. It does not indicate that the person has never used the drugs or that they will not use the drugs in the future.
An inconclusive result means the test was not successful. Labs may order the test again if come back as inconclusive. A panel drug test is not the most common drug test. For instance, most employers who require testing will use a 4- or 5-panel drug test and an alcohol test.
With that said, some professions involving personal and public safety may require regular panel drug tests. These detection times vary with each drug and personal factors, such as individual metabolism. Labs may check positive drug again to confirm their diagnosis and avoid false positives. Inconclusive may mean the person needs to repeat the test. There are many symptoms of opiate withdrawal, including shaking, chills, nausea, and diarrhea in some cases.
These uncomfortable symptoms can often be….
Learn about nine ways to make yourself pee when you are unable to go. We also look at when someone might need to induce urination, and when to seek….
Hair follicle drug tests involving taking a small hair sample to determine whether a person has been using illicit drugs or misusing prescription…. Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines for anxiety, insomnia, and other purposes.
Six different drug testing methods that dominate the current market
However, there is a risk of dependence and interactions with other drugs…. What to know about the panel drug test. Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm. What is it? Which drugs are tested for?
The role of drug tests
What is a panel drug test? What drugs can the test find? Share on Pinterest Benzodiazepines are among the drugs that the panel drug test checks for. Detection times. How and when to get one. What to expect. What do the mean? Share on Pinterest If a person has detectable amounts of certain drugs in their system, the result will be positive. Latest news Chronic back pain: Can psychological therapy be an effective treatment?
Spinach reduces colon cancer risk: Study explores how. Related Coverage. Can you treat opiate withdrawal symptoms at home?