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What is a 10-Panel Drug Test & What Does It Screen For?

What is a 10-Panel Drug Test?

There are many types of drug tests used around the world today, with many countries preferring one test over the other. The 10-panel drug test is a unique type of drug test as it screens for five of the most regularly misused prescription drugs, while also checking for five illicit or banned drugs.(1) Illicit drugs are another term used to refer to illegal drugs or street drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor.

The 10-panel drug test is not as commonly used as the 5-panel or the 7-panel drug test.(2) This is perhaps also because most workplace drug testing requires only a check for five of the most regularly used illegal drugs and sometimes even alcohol.(3)

While it is possible to use urine as well as other bodily fluids to carry out the 10-panel drug test, urine testing is the most common body fluid used in this test.

What is a 10-Panel Drug Test?

What Does The 10-Panel Drug Test Screen For?

Here are the controlled substances that the 10-panel drug test looks for:


  • Marijuana (in the form of weed, pot, grass, dope, herb, or ganja)
  • Hashish and hashish oil (commonly also known as hash)
  • Synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice, K2, and synthetic marijuana


  • Cocaine (available as coke, snow, blow, bump, powder)
  • Crack cocaine (also known as rocks, candy, hard rock, nuggets)


  • Pentobarbital (nembies and yellow jackets)
  • Amobarbital (blue velvet and downers)
  • Phenobarbital (Purple hearts and goofballs)
  • Tuinal (rainbows and double trouble)
  • Secobarbital (Pink ladies, red devils, and red)


  • Opium (Big O, Chinese tobacco, O, Dopium)
  • Heroin (Brown sugar, smack, train, H, hero, junk)
  • Codeine (Cody, sizzurp, purple drank, Captain Cody, lean)
  • Morphine (mud, Lydia, hocus, cube juice, Miss Emma)


  • Amphetamine sulfate (gooey, speed, whizz)
  • Methamphetamine (crystal, meth, crystal meth, ice, rock, crank)
  • Drugs such as dexamphetamine and others that are used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin, dexies, Adderall)
    Benzodiazepines: (Also known as normies, sleepers, downers, benzos)
  • Diazepam (brand name Valium)
  • Alprazolam (brand name Xanax)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium)
  • Lorazepam (brand name Ativan)
  • Other Substances the 10-panel drug screens for include:
  • Propoxyphene (PP-Cap, Darvon-N, Darvon)
  • Methadone (Dollies, mud, junk, cartridges, red rock, dolls)
  • Phencyclidine (angel dust, PCP)
  • Methaqualone (ludes, quaaludes)

The 10-panel drug test looks for these identified substances because these are amongst the most popularly misused drugs not just in the United States, but in many other countries as well.(4) However, a point to note here is that the 10-panel drug test does not check for alcohol.

Any legal and illegal substance can be screened for using the 10-panel drug test, even medication that you have a prescription for.

How Long is the Window of Detection?

Once consumed, a drug typically remains in the body only for a limited amount of time. There are many factors that have an effect on drug detection times, including:

  • What drug has been ingested
  • Dosage of the drug taken
  • Type of sample being used to the test
  • Individual metabolism of the body

Here are some of the approximated detection times for some of the common drugs screened for in the 10-panel drug test:(5)

  • Cocaine: 2-10 days
  • Amphetamines: 2 days
  • Barbiturates: 2-15 days
  • Cannabis: 3-30 days (depending on usage)
  • Benzodiazepines: 2-10 days
  • Methadone: 2-7 days
  • Opioids: 1-3 days
  • Phencyclidine: 8 days
  • Propoxyphene: 2 days
  • Methaqualone: 10-15 days

However, there are certain limitations to drug testing. For example, the 10-panel drug test will not be able to determine the present state of impairment. Instead of this, it would test for the substances that have been produced in the body during the process of drug metabolism. These compounds that have been produced need to be present in good enough concentration in order to be detected by the drug test.

Understanding the Results of the Test

The 10-panel drug test only comes back in three possible results:

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Inconclusive

A positive result means that there are drugs or byproducts of a drug present in your system. A positive result indicates that the drug has been used recently. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,(6) all employees that are working in government or safety fields have the right to retake the test again if they get a positive result. This helps rule out any false positives.

A negative result means that the drugs that were tested for were not present in a detectable quantity in the person’s sample. However, a negative result does not indicate that the person has never used the drugs or that they will not be using these drugs in the future.

An inconclusive result means that the test was not successful, and it needs to be repeated again.


A 10-panel drug test is not one of the most commonly used drug tests, but it is rapidly growing in popularity as the types of drugs abused by people grow in number. There are many employers today who will require you to undergo this drug test or at least a 4 or 5-panel drug test along with an alcohol test before approving your employment or even for current employees. Many public and personal safety professions now require their employees to undergo the 10-panel drug test regularly.

The 10-panel drug test can successfully test for the presence of at least ten substances, but the detection time of each drug varies due to which the test may not always prove to be reliable. Many times, laboratories may need to check a positive drug result once again to avoid getting false positives and ruining someone’s career over such a mistake. Inconclusive results of this drug test also mean that the person will have to repeat the test.


  1. Justice.gov. (2020). [online] Available at: https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs5/5140/5140p.pdf [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
  2. Smith, J. (2020). Workplace Drug Testing. [online] Datia.org. Available at: http://www.datia.org/datia-resources/27-credentialing/cpc-and-cpct/931-workplace-drug-testing.html [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
  3. Samhsa.gov. (2020). Drug Testing. [online] Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/drug-testing#HHS%20Mandatory%20Guidelines [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
  4. 4 Drugabuse.gov. (2020). Commonly Abused Drugs Charts. [online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
  5. 10 Panel Drug Test (Drugs of Abuse Testing), U. and Colleen Ryan, M. (2020). 10 Panel Drug Testing – HealthLabs.com. [online] Healthlabs.com. Available at: https://www.healthlabs.com/10-drug-panel [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
  6. Samhsa.gov. (2020). Drug Testing. [online] Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/resources/drug-testing [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 29, 2020

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