Drug Test

5 Panel vs 10 Panel Drug Test: Which Is Better?

5 Panel vs 10 Panel Drug Test

When it comes to drug testing, it’s important to understand the differences between 5 panel vs 10 panel drug test. These tests vary based on the number of drugs they screen for, making it crucial for employers to know which test to administer to their employees. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.

The choice between a 5-panel and 10-panel drug test depends on the specific needs of the organization or individual conducting the test. The 5-panel drug test is suitable for most workplaces and healthcare facilities, while the 10-panel drug test is more comprehensive and suitable for organizations that require a more detailed drug screening.

Additionally, the 5-panel drug test is more affordable than the 10-panel drug test, making it a more cost-effective option for many organizations. However, if an organization requires a more thorough drug screening, the 10-panel drug test is the better option.

How far back can drugs be detected?

Detection time depends on several factors: what drug is tested, dose, type of sample, and also individual metabolism.

  • Amphetamines: 1-2 days.
  • Cocaine Metabolites: 1 -4 days.
  • Marijuana Metabolites (THC): 1-5 weeks.
  • Opiates: 1-4 days.
  • Phencyclidine: 2-8 days.
  • Barbiturates: 2-10 days.
  • Benzodiazepines: 1-6 weeks.
  • Methadone: 1-7 days.
  • Methaqualone: two weeks
  • Propoxyphene: six hours to 2 days.

Which Drug Test Should be used 5 panel vs 10 panel drug test?

All drug tests come in the form of panels, where each panel tests different drugs. Most common are the non-regulated 10 panel drug test and regulated test uses the standard 5 panel drug test.

The most common sample type that 5-panel and 10-panel drug tests collect is urine. Compared to other samples, urine tests are the most affordable, painless, non-invasive, and have a longer time to detect drugs.

5 panel drug tests

A 5 panel drug test screens for five classes of drugs, including opiates, THC, PCP, cocaine, and amphetamines. Meanwhile, a 10-panel drug test screens for ten different drugs, including the same five drugs as the 5-panel, as well as benzodiazepines, methadone, barbiturates, methaqualone, and propoxyphene.

5 panel drug tests are popular in pre-employment testing, Federal employee drug tests, in professional and amateur sports, drug recovery programs, hospitals where admitted patients suspected of drug abuse, criminal probation programs, and the DOT. Testing for many of the most commonly abused addictive drugs makes it a common choice for businesses and organizations desiring a drug-free environment.

10 Panel Drug Test

10 panel drug test is generally reserved for specific situations, such as post-accident or reasonable suspicion drug testing. The 10 panel test is also used in certain industries where substance abuse is a concern, such as law enforcement or transportation.

The 10 panel drug test is one method you can use to test for a broad type of drug in a person’s body. Public and private companies use these non-regulated tests. Panels include 10 drugs: five illicit street substances and five common prescription medications. Normally, a person’s urine is tested as these drugs leave traces in the urine when it passes through your body.

  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

Both the 5 panel and 10 panel drug tests use a person’s urine to check for drug residues . However, it’s important to note that drug tests are not foolproof, and there are ways to try to cheat the system, such as diluting urine or using detox drinks. This is why it’s important for employers to administer random drug tests and to keep a close eye on employees who may be showing signs of drug abuse.


In summary, the main difference between a 5 panel vs 10 panel drug test is the number of drugs they screen for. A 5 panel drug test screens for five classes of drugs, while a 10 panel drug test screens for ten. Employers typically use a 5-panel drug test as a standard for screening employees, while a 10 panel drug test is reserved for specific situations or industries where substance abuse is a major concern.

However, it’s important to remember that drug tests are not perfect and can be cheated, which is why employers must stay vigilant in monitoring their employees for signs of drug abuse.

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