Understanding the Difference: 5-Panel and 10-Panel Drug Tests

When you work in the drug and alcohol testing industry, it’s easy to forget that not everyone automatically knows what a “5-panel” drug test means. The “10-panel” test can be equally confusing. Test Smartly Labs works hand in hand with businesses throughout the Kansas City area, and we provide so many drug tests for those businesses that our drug testing panels are very familiar. If your business is establishing a drug testing program at your workplace or if you need to request a pre-employment drug test, it’s imporant to understand the difference between these two tests:

5-Panel Urine Drug Test

A 5-panel drug test is simple: all we require is a urine sample. Test Smartly Labs follows DOT drug collection procedures to ensure the integrity of our specimens, but we provide collection observation when required. A 5-panel drug test will look for drugs that have been introduced to society for several decades. The test looks for:

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

If you need a drug test as instructed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), this is the test they will use.

10-Panel Urine Drug Test

The 10-panel drug test is a urine test, like the 5-panel. The 10-panel test will look for the same five drugs as the 5-panel but adds another five drugs that have become popular only recently. A 10-panel will look for:

  • Barbiturates (sedatives)
  • Benzodiazepines (like Xanax)
  • Methadone (an opioid)
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene (another opioid)
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • THC (Marijuana)

As you can see, the 10-panel test looks for drugs that many prescription medications contain. The 10-panel drug test has become relevant in the rising opioid crisis.

What can’t a 5-panel or 10-panel drug test find?

Some drugs are still not found by a 5-panel test or a 10-panel test. Synthetic drugs must be detected using a special drug test designed to find synthetic compounds. A 5-panel drug test cannot detect synthetic drugs. Additionally, the 5-panel tests and 10-panel tests may not detect when certain prescription drugs have been used or if the tester had been taking steroids. Synthetics, certain prescription medications, and steroids require unique drug tests and are separate from the 5-panel or 10-panel tests.

Which drug test should I use?

A 5-panel drug test is commonly used when an employer or family member wants to see if an individual has been abusing the common, traditional drugs with which most people are familiar. The 5-panel is required of pilots, truck drivers, most pre-employment offices, and DOT potential employees. The 10-panel test is best for any profession that works around prescription medications, i.e. anyone in a medical field. This test will pick up if anyone has been abusing prescription medications by looking for the specific compounds found in those drugs. Test Smartly Labs recommends that you choose a drug testing panel based on the position you’re hiring for, your industry, and desired job safety.

IF YOUR COMPANY IS IN NEED OF A RELIABLE DRUG TESTING PROGRAM, CALL (816) 800-9699 OR CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS TODAY. WE PROVIDE CONFIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS AT ANY OF OUR 5 GREATER KANSAS CITY AREA LOCATIONS.

Speak Your Mind

*