10 Panel Drug Test: An Indepth Guide

Also known as: 10 panel, Standard 10 panel drug screen, SAP 10-50, NIDA-10

BodyBrainAI Team07 Aug 2023
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The 10 panel drug test is a screening test used to detect the presence of 10 of the most commonly abused substances. It provides an expansive analysis of illicit and prescription drugs.

What is 10 Panel Drug Test?

The 10 panel drug test is a urine screen that looks for 10 types of legal and illegal drugs. It tests for the 5 substances in a standard 5 panel drug test (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP) plus 5 additional substances (barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone).

The 10 panel provides a more comprehensive view of an individual's recent drug use history. It is often used for pre-employment screening, workplace drug testing, drug rehabilitation programs, and court-ordered testing.

The extended panel can identify a wider range of substances that may impact someone's health and work performance. The test detects drugs that are commonly abused or prescribed. It includes illicit street drugs, prescription medications, and alcohol metabolites.

What is 10 Panel Drug Test used for?

The 10 panel drug test has a few key uses:

  • Pre-employment screening - The test is frequently required for new employees, especially in safety-sensitive occupations like transportation, construction, and healthcare. It verifies that candidates are not actively using major illegal or prescribed substances.

  • Workplace drug testing - Employers rely on the test to maintain a drug-free workplace and check for policy compliance. It provides a way to identify employees who may be under the influence on the job. Random and post-accident testing often utilizes a 10 panel screen.

  • Probation/parole - Courts and corrections programs mandate testing to monitor abstinence from drug use. A 10 panel analysis casts a wide net for substances that may violate the terms of probation or parole.

  • Rehab programs - Treatment centers administer the test to new patients and monitor progress during recovery. It helps gauge the effectiveness of addiction treatment.

How is 10 Panel Drug Test performed?

The 10 panel drug test is a urine-based test. The basic testing process is as follows:

  1. The donor provides a urine sample at a collection site or testing facility, following chain of custody procedures to ensure no tampering.

  2. The sample is screened for the 10 substances using an immunoassay test. This detects the presence of drug metabolites but does not confirm positive results.

  3. Any presumptive positive from the initial screen is further analyzed using a mass spectrometry technique called GC/MS or LC/MS/MS. This confirms the identity of any drugs present.

  4. The final test results are reported to the requesting party - employer, rehab program, court system, etc. Results are usually available within 24-48 hours.

What does 10 Panel Drug Test test for?

The 10 substances included in the standard test are:

  • Amphetamines - amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy)

  • Barbiturates - phenobarbital, secobarbital, butalbital

  • Benzodiazepines - alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam

  • Cocaine

  • Marijuana

  • Methadone

  • Methaqualone

  • Opiates - heroin, morphine, codeine

  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

  • Propoxyphene

Why do I need 10 Panel Drug Test?

There are several reasons an individual may require the 10 panel drug test:

  • It is mandated for pre-employment, random workplace testing, probation, or rehab programs. Refusing could lead to loss of a job offer or other consequences.

  • A parent needs to provide a clean test to maintain custody or visitation rights with a child.

  • Someone applying for life insurance may need testing to qualify for coverage.

  • A person wants to demonstrate abstinence from drug use following treatment and recovery.

  • After an accident at work, testing identifies if substance use was a contributing factor.

  • Testing verifies an individual is eligible for certain prescription medications that have abuse potential."

What do I need to do to prepare for 10 Panel Drug Test?

Standard preparation for a 10 panel drug test involves:

  • Discontinuing any substance use prior to the test. Most drugs can be detected for 1-4 days after last use, though marijuana lasts longer.

  • Bring a valid photo ID and paperwork required by the testing facility.

  • Wear clothing that allows easy access for providing a urine sample.

  • Drink a glass or two of water in the 1-2 hours leading up to the test. Dilute urine can require a retest, so don't over-hydrate.

  • Inform the collector of any medications currently being taken. Some may require medical review.

  • Arrive early to allow time for any intake procedures.

  • No fasting or other advance preparation is needed unless instructed by the requesting party. Attempts to tamper with or adulterate a specimen are illegal and can invalidate the test."

How long does the 10 Panel Drug Test take?

The test involves two stages - initial sample collection and processing, then lab analysis:

  • Sample collection takes about 10 minutes. This includes paperwork, specimen provision under supervision, and sealing of the sample with identifying labels.

  • Initial on-site screening with immunoassay technology takes 1-2 hours once the sample is collected. This provides preliminary positive or negative results.

  • Confirmation testing for positive samples using GC/MS or LC/MS/MS takes 24-48 hours. This verifies the presence of any detected substances

So from start to finish, most 10 panel drug tests provide results within 1-3 days. The donor typically leaves the collection site immediately after providing a urine specimen. "

How do I interpret 10 Panel Drug Test result?

There are a few key aspects of interpreting 10 panel drug test results:

  • Negative - No drugs were detected. The test is considered clean.

  • Negative/Dilute - No drugs were found, but the urine was too diluted. A retest may be required.

  • Positive - A drug has been detected, which will be reported with the level. This requires a medical review.

  • Inconclusive - The result could not be interpreted due to an invalid, contaminated, substituted, or adulterated specimen. Retesting is needed.

  • Prescription - A prescribed substance is present. This will need medical review to verify it is a valid prescription.

A detailed report from the lab will list findings for each substance, along with cutoff levels and methodology.

It's important to discuss any positive results with the requesting party to determine next steps. Depending on the reason for testing, a positive may have consequences like loss of employment or changes in child custody. Proper documentation of prescribed medications can help avoid issues.

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