Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Exactly What Is A 10panel Drug Screen Test

The 10-panel drug screen can detect illicit drugs in a urine sample.

A 10-panel drug screen is a test that measures the presence, if any, of an illicit substance in the body, most commonly through urine testing. Most often the test is performed in the laboratory after a urine sample has been collected from the individual. The results of the test can be determined rather quickly, making the test attractive to employers and for law enforcement.


According to the Division of Workplace Programs, the results of a 10-panel drug test are often determined by a laboratory. This type of test typically detects if the following drugs are found in the urine sample: cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine (Ecstasy, crystal meth), tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana), methadone, opiates (heroin), phencyclidine (PCP), barbiturates, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium) and tricyclic antidepressant. In addition to the drugs, the 10-panel drug test can also measure characteristics of the urine sample, such as the pH level. Testing the characteristics of the sample can show if the urine has been altered to cheat the test.

Reading the Test

Each test has a control region and the test region. The control region helps interpret the results by showing what a clean urine sample with no drug content would look like. Usually, the control region has a red bar. If any of the drugs being tested for are found in the sample, they will not produce a red bar on the test results. Test results that are determined in the laboratory may often show the exact concentration of a particular drug that has been found to be in the urine sample.

Interpreting the Test Results

The minimum amounts of the drug that need to be present in the system to show a positive result are established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If the minimum level of concentration for a particular drug has been found in the urine sample, then that would show a positive test result for that drug. Testing positive for a drug means that drug has been found in the urine sample. A negative result for a drug means that it was not found in the sample.

Reasons for Drug Testing

According to the Division of Workplace Programs, a number of legitimate reasons exist for requesting a 10-panel drug screen. The most common application of the test is as a pre-employment drug screen. Another reason for requiring the test in the workplace is as a post-accident test, if the individual was involved in an accident while on the job. Of course, reasonable suspicion of an individual using an illicit substance is also a reason for administering the test.

Testing at Home

As a variation to the 10-panel test that is performed in a laboratory, personal drug testing kits can be purchased from most pharmacies for testing at home. These kits are relatively cheap and test for the same drugs as the laboratory tests. Most tests require a urine sample and display results that can be clearly interpreted. However, the results from these testing kits may not be as reliable as the results provided from a laboratory screening.

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