Read to Know All About the 5-Panel Drug Test

These days, most employees need to go through a certain drug test as a routine step before joining any new company. It has become mandatory for certain specific duties. People who consume drugs while on their job can get involved in accidents, conflicts, and quite a few liability issues. All these can be avoided if the companies can screen out people who use drugs before the employee is hired.

A 5 panel drug test is a popular type of drug test that most employers prefer to use for detecting the presence of any prescription or illicit drugs. 

What does a 5-panel drug test show?

The 5-panel drug test, analyzing urine or saliva, confirms abuse of five common controlled substances. It is ideal for drug testing programs due to its:

  • Affordability
  • Accuracy
  • Simplicity. 

Detection ranges from 1 to 14+ days in urine, varying by substance and individual factors

The following substances can be detected through this test

  • Cocaine

Cocaine, a potent stimulant, is often adulterated with fillers like baking soda. Derived from coca leaves, it induces euphoria and suppresses appetite. Classified as a Schedule 2 drug due to high abuse potential, it is tested in 5-panel drug tests for safety concerns.

  • Amphetamines

Amphetamine, prevalent in ADHD medications like Adderall, mimics cocaine’s stimulant effects but to a lesser degree. Commonly abused by students for focus, it is a Schedule 2 drug with high abuse potential. 

Despite illegal recreational use, physicians may prescribe it, highlighting its dual medical and illicit nature.

  • Methamphetamine 

Methamphetamine, commonly known as “meth,” induces euphoria and heightened energy, leading to strong addiction and tolerance. Illicitly produced in variable strengths, its abuse damages dopamine receptors, inhibiting pleasure sensation. 

Classified as a Schedule 2 drug, meth is a prime target for law enforcement. While some medical prescriptions exist, they are rare and strictly regulated due to meth’s hazardous nature.

  • Opiate

Opiates, derived from the opium poppy, range from illicit heroin to medicinal painkillers like morphine. They induce relaxation, pain relief, and euphoria. Heroin and opium, often smoked or injected illicitly, pose strong addiction risks and disease transmission. 

Legitimate medical uses lead to varied scheduling by the DEA, from heroin as Schedule 1 to prescription opiates like Vicodin as Schedule 3.

  • THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in marijuana and synthetic forms like Marinol, induces relaxation and euphoria when smoked or ingested. While lacking strong dependency potential, prolonged use can impair cognition and motivation. 

Federally classified as Schedule 1, some states permit medical marijuana prescriptions, with Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational use but still testing for THC.

  • Phencyclidine

Phencyclidine (PCP), a synthetic chemical, induces hallucinations and dissociative experiences when abused. Despite legitimate veterinary use, it’s a Schedule 2 substance due to its severe health risks, including prolonged states resembling schizophrenia. PCP is illegal for human consumption.

Employers routinely conduct drug tests to ensure workplace safety and mitigate liability issues associated with drug use. The 5-panel drug test, affordable and accurate, screens for five common controlled substances, aiding in hiring decisions. 

Detection windows vary by substance. Understanding the test’s components helps employers identify potential risks and maintain a drug-free workplace, promoting productivity and minimizing hazards.



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