I. What Is 10-Panel Drug Testing?

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.

II. How to Prepare for 10-Panel Drug Testing

Drug panel tests are typically performed using a urine sample. There’s no preparation required. The test may take place:

  • At a laboratory
  • At your workplace, under the supervision of a test administrator
  • At home, using a home test kit available for purchase on some websites

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.

III. How a 10-Panel Drug Test Works

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:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Propoxyphene

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.

IV. Understanding 10-Panel Drug Testing Results

Test results from labs are usually available within a few business days. Home test kits may provide immediate results.

  • A positive result indicates that one of the substances tested for was detected. Other tests may then be performed on the sample to obtain more detailed data.
  • A negative result indicates that none of the substances were detected in a high enough concentration.
  • An invalid result means that results aren’t available.

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.

V. Learn From Our 10-Panel Drug Testing Sources

You can learn more about drug testing by visiting the following websites.