What are the different drug panels?

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

The entire process was very well run and the wait time between the different procedures was short. I was very impressed that the staff made the effort to learn some basic Chinese to help patients.
—Mobile Health Patient
drug panels at Mobile Health

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

Mobile Health offers drug panels in a variety of customizable drug testing classes.  The panel number corresponds to the number of drugs tested. For example, a 6-panel drug test looks for six different classes of drugs. Additionally, one client’s 6-panel drug test could be COMPLETELY different from another client’s 6-panel test.

The same logic applies for 4-panel, a 7-panel, or 10-panel drug tests. Employers ensure their employee screening process and drug testing approach match their employee screening policies.  These policies often dictate the group or panel of substances for testing.

For example, one 4-panel test could screen for THC, Opiates, Cocaine, & PCP, while another 4-panel might test for Methadone, Benzodiazepines, Oxycodone, & Ecstasy. The important similarity is that both examples test four substances.

A number of factors influence the number of panels tested, including profession, state laws, or even corporate culture.

While no regulations define drug groupings for specific numbered panel tests, certain best practices outline groupings of drugs for each panel.

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Substances in drug testing

In some cases, corporate culture influences the choice of drugs screened in its 4-panel test. Generally, when comparing a 4-panel and 5-panel drug test, the 4-panel 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 4-panel screens may instead screen for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, & methamphetamine – leaving out PCP.

 

Typical drug panels

  • 7-panel drug test: often administered by companies or individuals concerned an employee might be abusing prescription drugs. Industries requiring alertness or the operation of heavy machinery, such as transportation and the DOT, may use the 7-panel 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.
  • Standard 7-panel test: typically looks for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, & barbiturates.
  • 10-panel test: often administered to test employees in law enforcement and occupational medicine.  Additionally, these 10-panel drug screens may examine if a person is violating the terms of probation. Many civil servants must pass a 10-panel test, particularly if their job entails dangerous work or the employee must ensure the safety of others.
  • Standard 10-panel test: typically looks for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, & Quaaludes.
  • 12-panel test: often administered as an extension to the 10-panel test. The 12-panel test looks for either the presence of extended opiates and prescription painkillers or traces of other controlled substances if that poses a dangerous threat to the workplace.
  • Standard 12-panel test: looks for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, Quaaludes, Ecstasy/MDA, & Oxycodone/Percoset.

Curious about other numbered drug panel combinations, from 6-panel drug tests to 12-panel tests? Interested in knowing what an 8-panel test? Click here for typically tested panel variations in the list format.