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5 Panel Drug Test

5 Panel Drug Test
With just one sample, you can detect a number of drugs with the help of 5 panel drug test. Let's find details about the history and procedure of this drug test.
Niharika Arya
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Increasing drug abuse at workplace, has made it necessary to find out the physical and mental condition of an employee. This concern gave birth to the development of a 5 panel drug test. This test is used to detect the presence of multi-drugs by taking just one sample. This makes it a very significant and useful test. It is also used in case of accidents. The test is easy to perform and can also be used at home. This test is considered better than the other tests as it can detect many drugs at one time.
President Ronald Reagan, in 1986 announced a drug free federal workplace. Then in the year 1989 the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) developed a 5 panel basic urine test. In 1990 this test included the alcohol test too. Now this drug testing is used in almost all the major organizations to test their employees for drug abuse. It is usually done as a surprise test on the old employees and/or is done at the time of the recruitment on the new employees. Later more advanced 10 panel drug test was introduced.
The procedure for this drug test is similar to the other drug test procedures. The only difference in this procedure is that it can detect many drugs at a single time with just a single sample. Following is the procedure of this test.
  • The sample is collected from the person. Usually, a urine sample is taken, but sometimes blood, saliva, sweat or hair may also be used.
  • Then the sample is either send to the laboratory for further tests or it may be tested with the help of the drug test kit available in the market.
  • The only difference between the two is that you can get the result with the kit in few minutes and if the sample is sent to the laboratory then you may get the results in few days. Both ways you will get similar and accurate results.
  • If the drug detection is done because of an accident, then the sample is taken immediately after the accident takes place.
  • The drugs which are typically detected with the help of a standard 5 panel drug test are amephetamines (speed, meth, crank, ecstasy), cannabinoids (marijuana, hash), cocaine (coke, crack), opiates (heroin, morphine, opium, codeine) and phencyclidine.
Until now, the info, has shown us how helpful it is in detecting the presence of multi-drugs. Following are some facts related to this drug test.
  • This drug test is used to detect multiple drugs and can give the result at one go with just one sample.
  • It is very useful at the workplace to get their employees tested for any drug intake.
  • This test is also used at the time of accidents which helps to detect if the person is under the influence of any kind of drug.
  • Nowadays you can get 5 panel home kits to test drug level of anyone at home. It is easy to operate and quick in giving results.
  • It is very cost-effective as only one sample and one kit can detect the presence of many drugs.
  • Other tests are capable of detecting presence of drug in the body only when it is taken within the period of 24 - 48 hours. But one of the interesting facts about this drug test is that it can detect the drugs which have been taken even a week ago.
  • Marijuana can be detected even if the person had it in the past six months.
The only drawback of this test is that there are many common drugs like barbiturates, semi-synthetic opiates and synthetic narcotics which cannot be detected in the normal 5 panel drug test. However, an expanded test can be conducted for benzodiazepines (valium, librium, xanax, etc.), barbiturates (phenobarbital, butalbital, secobarbital), ethanol (ethyl alcohol, booze), etc.
Some factors and conditions may also influence the readings and show false positive results for some drugs. Hence, if the result comes positive, further tests are conducted for confirmation. I hope by now you must be clear with the concept and implementation of 5 panel drug test. It's always better to stay away from these drugs as they are not only harmful for your health but they can even destroy your career.