Author: James Anderson

10-panel drug test: Which drugs, timeframes, and results

what is a drug screening

Some professions may require the person to agree to random drug testing where they have little to no knowledge of the test beforehand. This is a simple approach, as these drugs leave traces in the urine when it passes out of the body. A drug test looks for the presence or absence of a drug in a biological sample, such as urine, blood, or hair. A drug metabolite is a substance made or used when the body breaks down (or “metabolizes”) a drug. Most hair testing laboratories use the aforementioned chromato-mass-spectrometry methods for confirmation or for rarely tested drugs only. Mass screening (preliminary or final) is usually done with immunoassays, because of their lower cost.

  1. A 10 panel drug test is a urine test screening for the presence of 10 types of drugs.
  2. Drug testing is used to find out whether you have been using or misusing one or more drugs.
  3. After a suspected positive sample is detected during screening, the sample is tested using a confirmation test.
  4. Urine drug screen results usually come back within a few days or on the same day.
  5. Usually, a person just has to urinate into a plastic container and return the urine sample to the technician or doctor.
  6. Urine and oral fluid can be used “as is” for some tests, but other tests require the drugs to be extracted from urine.

A healthcare provider might also order the test if you’re being prescribed amphetamines or opioids to ensure you’re complying with the prescribed amount and not giving it away or selling it to others. The detection window in urine depends on the type of barbiturate taken. In urine, short-acting barbiturates are detectable for two days; long-acting ones are detectable for three weeks.

Your body metabolizes (breaks down) various drugs at different rates, so the timeframe for detecting certain drugs in your system can be very specific and vary widely from substance to substance. Usually, a person just has to urinate into a plastic container and return the urine sample to the technician or doctor. A false-negative result can occur when urine is very diluted, for example. Though a urine test can indicate the presence of alcohol, if a health or legal authority suspects that a person has been drinking in excess, they are more likely to request a breath or blood test.

What to know about urine drug tests

The most commonly tested drugs include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opioids and PCP. You may need to take a drug test as a condition of employment, either as a pre-screening prior to getting hired, or as part of mandated random drug testing during employment. College and professional athletes may be required to undergo drug testing in order to participate in team sports.

what is a drug screening

You will be given specific instructions regarding the sample collection and the process is quick and easy to follow. After sample collection, the lab takes the sample to perform the requested tests for the presence of various drugs (generally specified by the entity requesting or requiring the drug test). NIDA supports and conducts research to improve drug testing methods by investigating more accurate and accessible technologies and applying drug testing in new ways to support individual and public health. This research includes efforts to develop new highly specific and sensitive tests for urine, breath, and sweat. It also includes the development of innovative technologies such as wearable sensors that can test for drugs in real time. Hair drug testing is a method that can detect drug use over a much longer period of time than saliva, sweat or urine tests.

Presumptive substance testing

Using this combination helps ensure that there is a high level of specificity and sensitivity for the drugs tested. What the means in layman’s terms is that there’s a much less chance of a false positive from the tests. Since the initial immunoassay is performed first, if the results come back negative, no further testing is required.

what is a drug screening

The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents against drug testing their children at home. Research studies have shown that at-home testing doesn’t reduce drug use. At-home testing also comes with the potential for misinterpreting results, which may negatively affect the relationship between children and parents. The metabolic processes happen at different speeds for different drugs. Because of this, each drug and its metabolites have a different timeframe in which a drug test can detect them. When a drug enters your body, your gastrointestinal tract absorbs and distributes it to the rest of your body.

Commonly tested substances

The first step at the testing site is to split the urine into two aliquots. One aliquot is first screened for drugs using an analyzer that performs immunoassay as the initial screen. To ensure the specimen integrity and to detect possible adulterants, additional parameters are tested for.[24] Some test the properties of normal urine, such as, urine creatinine, pH, and specific gravity. If requested by the physician or employer, certain drugs are screened for individually; these are generally drugs part of a chemical class that are, for one of many reasons, considered more habit-forming or of concern. For instance, oxycodone and diamorphine may be tested, both sedative analgesics.

When a blood test for drugs is required, you will go to a specified lab for collection of the blood. A lab technician will insert a small needle into a vein in your arm and collect the vial(s) of blood for the drug test. While this procedure usually involves a brief sting as the needle is inserted and withdrawn, the process is quick and otherwise painless. The area will be sterilized with alcohol and a small Band-Aid or compression wrap over a cotton ball will be applied.

Diagnostic screening

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs may request urine drug screens at initial assessments and follow-up appointments. Blood – Some employers want to know what drug(s), if any, are present in their employee at the present time. The emergency and referral resources listed above are available to individuals located in the United States and are not operated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA is a biomedical research organization and does not provide personalized medical advice, treatment, counseling, or legal consultation.

The test administrators may have special preparation instructions as well. These may include not urinating for a couple of hours before the test or avoiding drinking extra water before the test. By Jaime R. Herndon, MS, MPHJaime Herndon is a freelance health/medical writer with over a decade of experience writing for the public. There are several considerations to remember when understanding a drug test’s results.

If a drug test result is positive during substance use disorder treatment, health care providers may prescribe additional or alternative treatments. However, actual consequences of a positive drug test during substance use treatment may depend on state laws and the individual program. A 10 panel drug test is a urine test screening for the presence of 10 types of drugs. Although these are known drugs of abuse, some can also be legally used to treat legitimate medical conditions. Someone taking this test who legally uses a drug that falls into this category should have medical documentation that demonstrates legal usage. Many people feel the 10 panel drug is superior to other tests like the NIDA-5 because it screens for more drugs and may catch illegal use of many prescription drugs that are readily available.

A breath test measures the alcohol concentration in the body by a deep-lung breath. There are different instruments used for measuring the alcohol content of an individual though their breath. For urine tests, you’ll need to provide a urine specimen collected from your pee into a small cup. Expect to be monitored to ensure you haven’t tampered with the test (for example, by bringing a sample from someone else).