The 10-panel drug test checks for illicit or commonly misused substances in your body. This noninvasive test usually requires a urine sample.
A 10-panel drug test looks for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, barbiturates, and other commonly abused substances in your body. Substance abuse is a widespread social problem, with one in five Americans over the age of 12 using an illicit drug in 2019.
What is a 10-panel drug test?
The 10-panel drug test detects traces of ten different types of substances that you can associate with drug abuse. They conduct the test with a urine sample and may involve secondary testing to confirm any positive results. One can perform a 10-panel drug test as a condition of employment or when a person is suspected of abusing prescription or illegal drugs.
The 10-panel drug test can detect the recent use of ten common drugs of abuse. The most common use is for workplace drug testing. A 10-panel screen may also be used for:
- Medical screening
- Legal or forensic information
- Sports/athletics testing
- Monitoring pain medication use
Substance abuse can lead to impairment, respiratory problems, irregular heart rate, and seizures. It’s a complex issue that sets the United States back more than $600 billion in health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs each year. Testing can help parents, employers, and family members know if you’re clean.
Why should you get a test?
Drug panels check for an illicit substance to help ensure your health and the safety of others. You can also use it to determine if you need treatment for a substance abuse problem.
Who should get a 10-panel drug test?
You may be asked to take a 10-panel drug test by an employer, college athletic program, hospital, substance abuse treatment center, court, law enforcement official, or insurance company.
When to get a 10-panel drug test?
One can use drug panel tests after accidents, as part of monitoring for treatment programs, and as a condition of employment. They may also conduct a test if you show symptoms of substance abuse when on admission to a hospital.
Reasons for a 10-panel drug test.
- Pre-employment: Employers conduct pre-employment testing after a conditional offer of employment. One that has been put in place to screen applicants for illegal drug use.
- Reasonable suspicion: Employers may conduct testing when if they suspect drug use based on observable signs and symptoms in the workplace.
- Post-accident: Drug testing may be performed after a workplace accident to determine if drug use may have been a contributing cause. Although drug testing can test for recent drug use, a positive test alone cannot prove that drug use caused a specific accident.
- Random: Some employers typically conduct random drug testing without prior notice to act as a deterrent for employee drug use.
- Periodic: Employers may elect to perform drug testing on a set schedule. They administer periodic testing as part of an annual physical exam.
- Return-to-duty: Employers perform return-to-duty testing when an employee is ready to return to the workplace after a long absence. For example, you can use it after an employee completes the required treatment for substance use following a positive result on a previous drug test.
How to prepare for a 10-panel drug test?
Drug panel tests are typically performed using a urine sample. There’s no preparation required, although you should avoid drinking too much water beforehand. Your employer may also give you specific instructions on how to prepare and items you should bring with you to the test.
The test may take place:
- In a laboratory
- At your workplace, under the supervision of a test administrator
- At home, using a home test kit available for purchase on some websites
If you’re taking your test at home, take care to read all instructions beforehand and make sure the label says the test is designed to identify the drug you want to test for. Your kit should include instructions along with a collection cup and the test itself.
Some foods or medications can cause you to test positive, so you should let the test administrator know about any medicines or supplements that you take.
You usually must permit to take a test for drugs, although this may not be necessary after an accident.
What are the screened substances?
A 10-panel drug test checks for the presence of metabolites from these commonly misused substances:
- Amphetamines: Meth, speed, ecstasy
- Barbiturates: Butalbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital
- Benzodiazepines: Alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam
- Cocaine: Coke, crack
- Marijuana: THC
- Methadone: Opiate analgesic
- Methaqualone: Quaaludes
- Opiates: Codeine, morphine, opium, heroine
- Phencyclidine: PCP, angel dust
- Propoxyphene: Darvocet
How long can a 10-panel drug test screen for substances?
Metabolites only remain in your body for a certain length of time, and then the drugs are undetectable. The detection window for each substance varies, but it’s usually between one and four days for urine tests.
Results of a 10-panel drug test.
Test results from labs are usually available within a few business days. Home test kits may provide immediate results.
- A positive result indicates that they detect one of the substances that you test for. You can perform other tests on the sample to obtain more data.
- A negative result indicates that they do not detect any of the substances in a high enough concentration.
- An invalid result means that results aren’t available.
Ten-panel drug tests only indicate whether illicit substances have been found at a particular point in time. The results can’t tell if you use drugs in the past or how often you use drugs.
If you test positive, you may be referred to a physician, counsellor, or substance abuse treatment centre. Positive results usually get re-tested before the result is sent to your employer. This second test usually involves gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to confirm the substance in question is present.
If the second test is also positive, you may have the opportunity to speak with a medical review officer to discuss if you have a reasonable medical reason for having the substance in your system. After this, the results will be shared with your employer.