What’s The Difference Between 5-Panel and 10-Panel Drug Test

Those of us in the drug & alcohol testing industry can sometimes forget that not everyone knows what a “5-panel” drug test is off-hand. Not to mention the “10-panel” test. We work with so many businesses around Lawrence and Kansas City that our drug testing panels have become so familiar to us. However if you’re just now setting up a drug testing program at your workplace or looking into requesting a drug test – here’s a quick overview of the difference:

instant urine drug screen in Lawrence

5 Panel Urine Drug Test in Lawrence

Our 5-panel drug test requires a urine sample. We follow DOT drug collection procedures to ensure the integrity of our specimens. We do offer observation of collection if required. When using a 5-panel drug test, we will test for the following drugs that have been around for several decades:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • THC (Marijuana)

This is the test mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in their drug testing protocols.

10 Panel Urine Drug Test in Lawrence

The 10-panel drug test is also a urine test and will search for the same drugs in the 5-panel, but also look for 5 other drugs commonly abused by drug users:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • THC (Marijuana)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone
  • Propoxyphene

The additional 5 drugs found on the 10-panel drug test are found in many prescription medications.

Drugs NOT detected by a 5-panel or 10-panel Drug Test

Some drugs will still not be detected by a 5-panel OR a 10-panel. Synthetic drugs must be detected using a drug test designed to detect synthetic compounds; a 5-panel drug test will NOT detect synthetic drugs. Also, the 5-panels and 10-panels may not detect if certain prescription medications have been abused or if steroids were taken. These all require unique drug tests not included in the 5 or 10-panels.

Which Drug Test Do I Use – 5-panel or 10-panel?

Most often, a 5-panel drug test is used if an employer (or individual) wants to see if traditional drugs are being abused. This test is what’s required by DOT, it’s what pilots, truck drivers and most pre-employment offices require. Because a 10-panel test reviews some compounds used in prescription medications, it’s a great test for those in the medical field or those who work around prescription medications.

We recommend that you choose the drug testing panel depending on the position you’re hiring for, your industry and job safety.

If you’re in Lawrence and need help deciding between a 5-panel and 10-panel drug test, contact us!


  1. Great article explaining the services offered by Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City, Overland Park and Lawrence! I enjoy reading bout the ARCpoints and how they are reaching out to their communities.

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