What is a 10-panel drug test?
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 illicit drugs. Illicit drugs, also known as illegal or street drugs, usually aren’t prescribed by a doctor.
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.
What does it screen for?
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:
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- diazepam (Valium)
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.
What’s the window of detection?
Once ingested, drugs remain in the body for a limited amount of time. Drug detection times vary according to the:
- type of sample
- individual metabolism
Some approximate detection times for drugs screened in the 10-panel drug test include:
|barbiturates||2 to 15 days|
|benzodiazepines||2 to 10 days|
|cannabis||3 to 30 days, depending on frequency of use|
|cocaine||2 to 10 days|
|methadone||2 to 7 days|
|methaqualone||10 to 15 days|
|opioids||1 to 3 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.
Who takes this test?
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.
How to prepare
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.
What to expect during
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.
Getting the results
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.
What to expect if you get a positive result
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.
What to expect if you get a negative result
Negative drug test results will be sent to your current or prospective employer. Further testing usually isn’t required.