Substance abuse can lead to impairment, respiratory problems, irregular heart rate, and seizures. It’s a complex issue that sets the United States back more than $600 billion in health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs each year. Testing can help parents, employers, and family members know if you’re clean.
Why should you get tested
Drug panels check whether you’ve taken an illicit substance to help ensure your health and the safety of others. It’s also used to determine if treatment is needed for a substance abuse problem.
Who should get tested
You may be asked to take a 10-panel drug test by an employer, college athletic program, hospital, substance abuse treatment center, court, law enforcement official, or insurance company.
When to get tested
Drug panel tests may be used after accidents, as part of monitoring for treatment programs, and as a condition of employment. You may also be tested if you show symptoms of substance abuse when admitted to a hospital.
Drug panel tests are typically performed using a urine sample. There’s no preparation required. The test may take place:
Some foods or medications can cause you to test positive, so you should let the test administrator know about any medicines or supplements that you take.
You usually must give permission to be tested for drugs, although this may not be necessary after an accident.
Drug tests can be performed using blood, saliva, sweat, and hair, but the most common method is through urine because it’s easy to collect.
Once you’ve taken a drug, your body’s metabolic processes begin to break the substance down, creating by-products called metabolites. These metabolites are eliminated from your body in your urine.
A 10-panel drug test checks for the presence of metabolites from these commonly misused substances:
Metabolites only remain in your body for a certain length of time, and then the drugs are undetectable. The detection window for each substance varies, but it’s usually between one and four days for urine tests.
Test results from labs are usually available within a few business days. Home test kits may provide immediate results.
Ten-panel drug tests only indicate whether illicit substances have been found at a particular point in time. The results can’t tell if a person has used drugs in the past or how often drugs are used.
If you test positive, you may be referred to a physician, counselor, or substance abuse treatment center.
You can learn more about drug testing by visiting the following websites.