10 panel drug test is done to find the presence of drugs in your body. Its primary objective is to check substance abuse among people. Samples of urine are used to detect abuse if any.

As the name suggests, the 10 panel drug test checks for 10 most popular drugs that are commonly abused. The drugs include five street drugs (also known as illicit drugs) and five most common prescription drugs. Urine is chosen as the medium to detect the traces of these drugs. The reason being, these drugs leave a strong trace in your urine while being passed out of your body. Also, urine sample helps identify drug traces with more certainty than say, a sample of saliva. Similarly samples of hair or blood are also used in a few tests; however, these samples are generally found to be difficult to work upon as compared to urine.

The 10 drugs this panel helps detect are cocaine, opioids, marijuana, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzos (also called as benzodiazepines) and individual drugs.
In case of cocaine, the 10 panel drug tests also detect drugs such as crack cocaine or freebase – which contain cocaine.

As opioids are available in multiple forms; the tests can detect opioids in the form of morphine, heroin, codeine, smoked opium, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.
The 10 panel drugs test can check for resins of marijuana including hashish, wax, glass, etc.

In case of amphetamines, the panel can identify adderall or ritalin (both are drugs used for medical conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD), methamphetamine (commonly known as meth) as well as amphetamine sulfate (widely referred as speed).

Barbiturates can be of many types; these are secobarbital, phenobarbital, amobarbital, etc.
Benzos may be prescribed to treat a few ailments but may also be abused. The common types of benzos detected include lorazepam, diazepam or alprazolam.

The 10 panel drugs test also checks for the presence of individual medications such as propoxyphene, methadone, phencyclidine (popularly referred as PCP) and methaqualone. As these drugs do not fall under a particular genre, each are detected with a unique approach of testing.


Detection times for different types of drugs

The time windows to detect the presence of drugs depend on the type of drug you have consumed, the frequency of use as well as your rate of metabolism. Detection time is the time by which your body discharges the drugs’ residue, including each drug’s byproducts.

The 10 panel drugs test cannot state if you are presently under a drug’s spell. In other words, the tests can only tell if the residue of certain drugs is present in your urine.

Approximate timelines for discharge of the byproducts or residue of each of the drugs are as under- Cocaine can be detected in urine over 2 to 3 days;
Amphetamines can be traced upto 2 days;

Marijuana’s traces can be detected based on the intensity of usage. For high level of substance abuse, your urine may carry traces of marijuana for about 30 days or more. However, for an occasional use (single time), it may be in your urine for upto 72 hours. Of course, it may last for a longer time if used for say 3 – 4 times in a week. For such type of usage, residues of marijuana can be detected upto 120 to 168 hours. On being used daily, the traces are found to be present for as high as upto 2 weeks.

Your urine may bear traces of opioids based on the type. Methadone may be detected upto 72 hours; oxycodone upto 96 hours; morphine’s residues may last upto 2 to 3 days; codeine may be detected till about 2 days while heroin too can be traced over a 48 hour time window.

Barbiturates’ residue and byproducts are detected based on the nature of the drug. In general, barbiturates can be classified into long acting and short acting variants. The long acting variant of barbiturates may be traced upto 20 days while short acting barbiturates may be detected upto 72 hours.

Similar to barbiturates, benzos also may be categorized as long acting and short acting variants. Long action benzos – for example, diazepam – may be traced over 30 days, while short acting version of benzos – such as lorazepam – may be detected only over a 72 hour time window.

Individual drugs such as PCP may be found to have an effect that can last upto a week. A few cannabinoids (especially of the synthetic genre) may leave their traces back for a span of upto 72 hours.

Method of testing

The 10 panel drug test is administered with special instructions. The administrator may tell you not to urinate for at least 2 hours prior to the test. You may also be advised not to consume extra amounts of fluids (such as water). You may be given a day’s notice to take the test. However, some of the employers may insist on your giving the urine sample on a random mode; in such instances, you may not be told about the test. Such random testing is done while testing you for a few types of jobs or may be a norm in a few sectors.

Your urine sample is taken during the mid of the stream. You will be advised to give the collected urine sample to the administrator of the test. All needful steps are taken to prevent contamination of the sample; these include adding a dye to the toilet water or cutting the supply of tap water in the toilet. In some instances, a same sex facilitator may be present in the bathroom to ensure the test is taken without any deviation.


The test results

Your urine sample is sent to the lab for a detailed analysis, which may consume a few days. You can either test positive or negative; in some instances, the tests may yield an inconclusive result.

If you have tested positive, it means that you have used the drugs in the recent past. So as to check false positive results, you may have the right for a test done for a second time. This is allowed for employees working in high safety professions as well as federal employees.

A negative result means that your urine does not contain traces of the drugs. However, a negative test result neither confirms abstinence of drugs tested nor is a guarantee against any likely abuse of drugs.

In some cases, the outcomes may show inconclusive results. In such instances, the tests are repeated a second time for proper validation.

In some cases, employers may opt for a 4 panel drugs test along with a test to detect possible abuse of alcohol. However, employment where public safety is a topmost priority, a 10 panel drugs test is prescribed. Based on the detection timespans of each drug the 10 panel drugs test may reveal the presence or absence of 10 drugs. Based on the samples of urine, the results may either show a positive (presence of traces) or negative (absence of traces of drugs). In some rare cases, the lab tests may also give an inconclusive result, prompting the 10 panel drugs test administrator to perform the tests all over again.

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