Drug Testing BLOG

If you are an employee, you need to conduct mandatory drug screening for all employees. There are various drug testing panels and choosing which panel you want will depend on your objectives. Here is a basic description of the different panels and the different procedures they follow.

The DOT 5 drug test panel

This is a comprehensive drug test panel, which is usually recommended. It helps catch most of the drug abusers in the Department of Transportation. It is a list of five drugs, which your employee needs to be screened for. This list of drugs includes the likes of Amphetamines, which are inclusive of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Cannabinoids such as Marijuana and THC, Phencyclidine like PCP, Opiates such as Heroin, Codeine, Vicodin, Morphine, Oxycodone etc. These five drugs include the majority of drugs, which drug abusers indulge in. Hence, a DOT 5 panel test will easily identify the drug abusers in your company.


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The DOT 10 drug test panel

This kind of drug screening is more comprehensive compared to the DOT 5 test. It includes a list of 10 drugs. These include Amphetamines such as Crystal Meth and other Methamphetamine, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Methadone, Cocaine, Cannabinoids like Marijuana and THC, Methaqualone, Phencyclidine such as PCP, Opiates like Heroin, Codeine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Vicodin etc., Propoxyphene etc. The laboratory test as part of the 10 screen panel comprises sample collection, transportation to the laboratory, conducting EMIT analysis, confirmation of GC/MS from a laboratory, which has been SAMHSA certified, testing review from an MRO or Medical Review Officer. This is an optional stage.

The NIDA 5 panel test

The NIDA panel tests five substances in the urine sample, which is collected. These substances include Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opiates, and Phencyclidine or PCP. To detect the presence of Cannabinoids in urine samples, immunoassays help screen these substances. MS/GC finally confirms the test results. To detect cocaine, the metabolite substance called benzoylecgonine are regularly screened in the urine. Confirmation is aided by mass spectrometry or gas chromatography. Amphetamines are detected in the urine with immunoassays. The presence of methamphetamine is also screened in the urine. The same procedure applies for determining Opiates and PCP in the urine.

SAMHSA 5 panel test

The SAMHSA also was known as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a drug test that includes screening for five crucial drugs. These include Marijuana or THC, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines or Methamphetamines and Phencyclidine or PCP. The presence of Opiates in urine analysis samples includes substances such as Vicodin and hydrocodone, codeine, hydromorphone or Dilaudid, oxymorphone such as Numorphan as well as oxycodone like Percodan as well as Morphine traces. There are stringent guidelines, which have been stipulated by the SAMHSA pertaining to methods and programs for testing for drugs.

All of these drug panel tests rely on urine samples to confirm traces of various drugs. This is because urine is a reliable method of ascertaining drug presence. In addition, it is inexpensive and conveniently collected for screening purposes.