What is a standard urine drug test? USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island advises, there really isn’t one.
Today’s topic is about the difference between a 5-panel test and a 9 or 10-panel test. One of the biggest misconceptions is that there is a “standard” 5-panel or 9-panel test. There is not a standard for these tests. There are several options for the 5-panel or 9-panel tests. However, when someone asks me to do a “standard” 5-panel test, they usually want a drug test done that mirrors the DOT (Dept of Transportation) standards.
The DOT tests for the following drugs in their 5-panel tests: THC (marijuana), cocaine, amphetamines (which is a class of drug and can include methamphetamines or prescription medications), opiates (also a class of drug and can include heroine or prescription meds), and PCP. A little over a year ago, the DOT also added some extended opiates in their testing to include more pharmaceutical drugs, and to include testing for MDMA or ecstasy. So, in summary, this covers the commonly abused illegal drugs.
When you go to a 9-panel drug test, you are also testing for benzodiazepines (xanex and valium), barbituates (phenobarbital), Hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), Methaqualone (Quaaludes), Propozyphene (Darvocet), and methadone. Or any combination of the drugs mentioned.
The biggest issue with the choices given for testing is that when someone is stepping in to handle drug testing for a company, if they start ordering tests different from what other employees had been tested for before, there is room open for a case of discrimination. So, if you normally run a 5-panel test and then decide to call a drug company and you decide to “test for everything”, and the employee tests positive for a drug that nobody else gets tested for, they may have a case for being treated differently. Its all about your drug free work place policy and what test you have decided on. USAMDT can advise you about all options, there are many urine panels available and surprisingly some cost the same as lesser panels.
Most people who call my office to get testing done really don’t know or understand what they are ordering. I’m not sure that I think it’s hugely important that you remember all this except, I do think it’s hugely important to understand the tests you order when you are making that decision, then stick with that decision. The best way to do that is to have a specific lab account set up for your company only and have pre-printed custody forms that you use every time. That way, there is no thinking required. Everyone gets the same test run. It’s easy. So, how do you do that?
That is easy too. Just ask your current provider to set up a separate account for you at their lab and to give you your own forms. It’s easy and it shouldn’t cost any money. And, you can still use any collector or medical facility to do the test collections for you. So, if you end up having an employee who needs to be tested somewhere different than your normal provider, you can send the form with them, or you can send the form to the collection site in advance, or even in a pinch, you can fax the form for the collection site to copy. If this is something you are interested in, drop me an email and I will help walk you through this.
If you are only doing DOT testing, don’t sweat this, your tests are already done the same as long as your collectors are using the federal forms. You should still have individual accounts which make it easier to compile reports that the DOT may ask for. I can help with that too, just ask.