What are the different drug panels?

Drug test panels: 4 panel, 7 panel, or 10 panel drug tests, & more

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drug panels at Mobile Health

Mobile Health offers multi-panel drug testing at all of our locations.

Drug Panels are offered at Mobile Health in a variety of customizable drug testing classes.  The number of drugs tested indicates the drug panel number. For example, an 8-panel drug test looks for eight different classes of drugs. One client’s 8-panel drug test could be COMPLETELY different from another client’s 8-panel drug test.

The same approach is used for a 4-panel, a 7-panel, or a 10-panel drug test. Employers ensure their employee screening process and drug panels match their employee screening policies.  These policies often dictate the group or panel of substances to be tested.

For example, a 4 panel could test for THC, Opiates, Cocaine, & PCP, but could just as easily test for Methadone, Benzodiazepines, Oxycodone, & Ecstasy. The important similarity is that both examples have four substances tested, thus making it a 4-panel drug test.

The choice of the number of panels to be tested can be influenced by profession, state laws, or even corporate culture.

There is no strict definition of which drugs must be tested in a certain number panel drug test, however certain recommended best practices are available outlining specific drugs in each panel.

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Substances in drug testing

In some cases, the influence of corporate culture may play a role in determining which drugs are screened in a 4-panel drug test. Generally, the overwhelming distinction between a 4-panel and 5-panel drug test tends to eliminate marijuana as a tested substance. As marijuana legislation and certain cultures change, employers may choose to customize their panel accordingly. Other variations of the 4-panel drug screens may instead look for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, & methamphetamine – leaving out PCP.


Typical drug panels

  • A 7-panel drug test is often administered by companies or individuals who are concerned an employee might be abusing prescription drugs. In industries where alertness is required or heavy machinery is operated, such as transportation and the DOT, some companies use the 7-panel drug test to gauge the presence of prescription drugs.  These drugs, although legal, may impair a machine operator’s ability to do their job, or cause fatiguing side effects, particularly if abused.
  • A standard 7-panel drug urine test typically looks for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, & barbiturates.
  • A 10-panel drug screen is often administered to test employees in law enforcement and occupational medicine.  Additionally, these drug screens may examine if a person is violating the terms of probation. Many civil servants are required to pass a 10-panel drug screen, particularly if their job entails dangerous work or work where the employee is responsible for the safety of others.
  • A standard 10-panel drug urine test typically looks for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, & Quaaludes.
  • A 12-panel drug test is often administered as an extension to the 10-panel test. The 12-panel drug test looks for either the presence of extended opiates and prescription painkillers or traces of other controlled substances if that is dangerous to the workplace.
  • A standard 12-panel drug urine test typically looks for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, Quaaludes, Ecstasy/MDA, & Oxycodone/Percoset.

Curious about other number drug panel combinations from 4-panel drug tests to 12-panel drug tests? Interested in knowing what is checked in an 8-panel drug test? Click here for typically tested drug panel variations in the list format.

Mobile Health clinics and corporate office will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.