Professionals in certain positions where they are responsible for the safety of others may need to take a 10-panel drug test. It tests for the misuse of prescription and illegal drugs.

The 10-panel drug test screens for the five of the most frequently misused prescription drugs in the United States.

It also tests for five illegal drugs. Illegal drugs, also known as illegal or street drugs, usually aren’t prescribed by a doctor.

The 10-panel drug test is less common than the 5-panel drug test. Workplace drug testing typically checks for five illicit drugs, and sometimes alcohol.

Although it’s possible to use blood or other bodily fluids to conduct a 10-panel drug test, urine tests are the most common.

Keep reading to learn more about what the test screens for, the detection window for screened substances, and more.

The 10-panel drug test screens for the following controlled substances:


  • amphetamine sulfate (speed, whizz, gooey)
  • methamphetamine (crank, crystal, meth, crystal meth, rock, ice)
  • dexamphetamine and other drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy (dexies, Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, Focalin, Concerta)


  • marijuana (weed, dope, pot, grass, herb, ganja)
  • hashish and hashish oil (hash)
  • synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana, spice, K2)


  • cocaine (coke, powder, snow, blow, bump)
  • crack cocaine (candy, rocks, hard rock, nuggets)


  • heroin (smack, junk, brown sugar, dope, H, train, hero)
  • opium (big O, O, dopium, Chinese tobacco)
  • codeine (Captain Cody, Cody, lean, sizzurp, purple drank)
  • morphine (Miss Emma, cube juice, hocus, Lydia, mud)


  • amobarbital (downers, blue velvet)
  • pentobarbital (yellow jackets, nembies)
  • phenobarbital (goofballs, purple hearts)
  • secobarbital (reds, pink ladies, red devils)
  • tuinal (double trouble, rainbows)

Benzodiazepines are also known as benzos, normies, tranks, sleepers, or downers. They include:

Other screened substances include:

  • phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust)
  • methaqualone (Quaaludes, ludes)
  • methadone (dollies, dolls, done, mud, junk, amidone, cartridges, red rock)
  • propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvon-N, PP-Cap)

The 10-panel drug test screens for these substances because they’re among the most commonly misused drugs in the United States. The 10-panel drug test doesn’t screen for alcohol.

Employers can test for any legal or illegal substance, including medication taken with a legitimate prescription.

Once ingested, drugs remain in the body for a limited amount of time. Drug detection times vary according to the:

  • drug
  • dose
  • type of sample
  • individual metabolism

Some approximate detection times for drugs screened in the 10-panel drug test include:

SubstanceDetection window
amphetamines2 days
barbiturates2 to 15 days
benzodiazepines2 to 10 days
cannabis3 to 30 days, depending on frequency of use
cocaine2 to 10 days
methadone2 to 7 days
methaqualone10 to 15 days
opioids1 to 3 days
phencyclidine8 days
propoxyphene2 days

Drug testing has limitations. For example, it can’t evaluate a current state of impairment. Instead, it tests for the drug or other compounds created during drug metabolism. These compounds must be present at a certain concentration in order to be detected.

The 10-panel drug test isn’t a standard drug test. Most employers use a 5-panel drug test to screen applicants and current employees.

Professionals who are responsible for the safety of others may be required to take this drug test. This may include:

  • law enforcement officials
  • medical professionals
  • federal, state, or local government employees

If your current or prospective employer asks you to take a drug test, you might be required by law to take it. Your hiring or continued employment might be contingent on a pass. However, this depends on the laws in your state.

Some states prohibit employers from conducting drug testing on employees who aren’t in safety-dependent positions. Other drug testing restrictions apply for employees who have a history of alcohol or substance use disorder.

Avoid drinking excessive amounts of fluids prior to your urine sample. Your last bathroom break should be two to three hours before the test. You’ll also need to bring an official ID to the test.

Your employer will provide you with any additional instructions as to how, when, and where to take the test.

Your drug test might take place at your workplace, a medical clinic, or elsewhere. The technician performing the drug test will provide instructions throughout the process.

The preferred site for a urine test is a single-stall bathroom with a door that extends to the floor. You’ll be given a cup to urinate into. In rare cases, someone of the same gender might monitor you while you provide the sample.

The technician might take additional precautions to make sure the urine sample isn’t tampered with. These can include:

  • turning off the tap water and securing other sources of water
  • putting blue dye in the toilet bowl or tank
  • removing soap or other substances
  • conducting a site inspection prior to collection
  • measuring the temperature of your urine afterward

Once you’ve finished urinating, put the lid on the container and give the sample to the technician.

Some urine testing sites offer immediate results. In other cases, the urine sample is sent away for analysis. The results should be available within a few business days.

Drug test results can be positive, negative, or inconclusive:

  • A positive result means that one or more of the panel drugs were detected at a certain concentration.
  • A negative result means that the panel drugs weren’t detected at the cut-off concentration, or at all.
  • An inconclusive or invalid result means that the test wasn’t successful in checking for the presence of the panel drugs.

Positive drug test results typically aren’t sent to your employer right away. The sample will likely be retested using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to confirm the presence of the substance in question.

If the second screening is positive, a medical review officer might speak to you to find out whether you have an acceptable medical reason for the result. At this point, the results may be shared with your employer.

Negative drug test results will be sent to your current or prospective employer. Further testing usually isn’t required.