In this quick guide you’re going to learn everything you need to know to deal with any type of panel drug test. Although most people think the 10 panel drug test is the most advanced, there is actually a 12 panel drug test, plus add-ons you can pay for as well.
So what we’re going to do here is talk you through all the drugs a look for on the 5 panel drug test through 10 panel drug test, and explain the additional things that can be found on a drug test. You’ll also learn about how panel drug tests are not just about urine samples either.
In addition, you’ll learn about the process for taking a panel drug test, and some tactics to avoid getting caught out if you think you might have drug metabolites in you that could fail you.
Table of Contents
The Different Types Of Panel Drug Test You Could Face
Most people think that panel drug testing is about submitting a urine sample. But you can actually face a panel drug test from 5 through to 12 panels for any of the following:
- Urine sample drug test
- Hair follicle drug test
- Saliva drug test
- Blood drug test
The reason for this is that the panels are what react to the gas/liquid that is on them through the process of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Because one panel can’t react to all the different substances, you have to test the sample against each to get positive or negative results. So whatever type of drug test you are facing, is the same basic process.
What’s The Difference Between A Five Panel Drug Test And A 10 Panel Drug Test?
People worry about five panel drug tests and 10 panel drug tests. However, you can actually get drug tests from 4 panels all the way through to 12.
Here are the differences between them:
- The 4 panel drug test looks for cocaine, PCP, opiates, and amphetamine/methamphetamine. As you can see, cannabis is not looked for. This type of drug test is increasingly used by companies with a culture of not persecuting cannabis smokers.
- The 5 panel drug test is the basic one that most used. It looks everything in the 5 panel drug test alongside the additional search for cannabis metabolites.
- The 7 panel drug test usually comes in two forms. The first one is used by companies who want to look for prescription medication abuse. So the seven panels look for different types of prescription med footprint. The standard 7 panel drug test is the same as the 5 panel with the addition of searching for benzodiazepines and barbiturates.
- There are two types of 10 panel drug test. The first looks for prescription meds alongside the five main types of drug looked for on the 5 panel test. Then you get standard 10 panel test which looks everything on the 5 and 7 panel standard tests, with the additions of methadone, propoxyphene, and Quaaludes. https://www.drugs.com/illicit/quaaludes.html
- At the top of the tree is the 12 panel drug test. Again, this comes in two types. The first is designed for companies who want to look for prescription med abuse, and it looks for the basic drug types in addition to various prescription meds as well. Then you get standard 12 panel drug test which contains all the drug types we have mentioned so far, with the addition of MDMA and oxycodone.
But even that’s not the whole story, as companies or organizations commissioning the tests can also pay extra for panels that check for alcohol use and other substances like kratom. However, the kratom inclusion is incredibly rare and, in my experience,, I’ve never heard of anyone facing a drug test that includes it. However, because it’s very similar to an opiate in structure, kratom can show up as a false positive for opiate use.
Here’s What Happens When You Take A Panel Drug Test
The process for taking any type of panel drug test is the same. You don’t actually ever see the panels or the kit itself.
You’ll go along usually to somewhere like LabCorp. You’ll check-in, make sure you don’t have anything obvious on you that could get around a drug test, and then you go into a room, or behind a screen, and you submit your urine sample.
That’s basically it. The only difference is if it’s an oral swab test then obviously somebody is taking that from you using a swab in your mouth, although occasionally they will ask you to do it yourself.
When it comes to a hair follicle drug test, you’ll have a sample length taken from your head that consists of the 1 ½ inches closest your scalp, which will then be tested for 90 days drug history.
Blood tests are really rare, and unless you’re facing some very special type situation, then you wouldn’t ever have to submit a blood sample which was then tested for the presence of drugs.
What Sort Of Jobs Don’t Drug Test?
To answer the question around the jobs don’t drug test, it’s probably easier to tell you about the ones that definitely do.
Anything federal government, state government, Department of Transport, civil servants, all the obvious agencies, you will be drug tested. Usually it’s a standard five panel test, but in some states all civil servants now have to pass a 10 panel drug test.
Also, and this isn’t widely known, any company who is contracted to work for the federal government in any way must have a drug-free workplace program in place to be allowed to get the contract. In addition, companies with workplace drug free programs in place can get 2% each year of their employment comp costs. So big business and government does want drug-free workplaces.
In addition, many private companies also drug test. This is mostly after a successful interview when they offer you a job subject to a background check. But it’s not universal, and many private companies don’t drug test at all, it’s best to google the company name to try and find out current drug testing policies.
You may not face a urine sample drug test either. Many companies use oral drug testing, especially low-paid jobs. Oral swab drug testing is also used a lot for on-the-job drug testing, because it’s cheap and anyone can administer the test.
But the bottom line is that many companies are moving away from low-level drug testing because of the increasing legalization of marijuana in the USA, and a more liberal attitude in society. You could apply for most retail jobs, serving jobs, things like that, and never face a drug test. But if you are going to work for the government, or any company who works with the government, then you will almost certainly face one.
Things You Can Do To Pass A Drug Test
So let’s conclude this guide to panel drug test by telling you how you can potentially pass a drug test.
The first thing I’d suggest is to use an at home drug test kit to see if you’re going to fail in the first place. If you are in a regular user of drugs, and you know you’ve got a drug test coming up, it’s always a wise precaution to do a drug test at home the day before, or a few hours before the test.
Companies like Test Negative and Test Clear Sell home drug test kits for urine, saliva and hair. There are others, but as they also sell many high-quality drug test avoidance products, they are popular places to shop for these kits. They will tell you in a short space of time whether you are going to pass a drug test or not.
If you’re not, then you have several evasion strategies possible:
- You can submit a sample of fake urine if you’re facing a urine sample drug test. As long as you are discreet about smuggling in, and you know it’s an unsupervised test, then a high-quality brand will almost certainly pass.
- For an oral swab drug test you could use saliva neutralizing gum or mouthwash. These products give you about 15 minutes clean to submit a clean sample.
- For a hair follicle drug test your options are more limited because of how difficult it is to open up the hair shaft and remove drug metabolites from your hair. However there is one way of doing it, called the Macujo method. It’s invasive, and take several days, but it is possible to remove drug toxins from your hair permanently using this method.
In addition to those emergency strategies, especially if you are going to try and get a job with the government, or government contractor, then I’m suggesting you just get clean. Even if it’s only temporarily clean, you can usually get clean within a week if you do a natural detox alongside high-quality detox pills.
By having all this information to hand, and maybe getting some of the products in stock, especially those at home drug test kits, you can at least know where you stand, and have more chance of passing a drug test should you get caught out at short notice.