Exploring the Differences Between 5 Panel and 10 Panel Drug Tests: Which One is Right for Your Business?
As a company that values safety in the workplace, drug testing is an important aspect of ensuring that your employees are fit for duty and are not putting themselves or others in harm’s way. However, with so many different types of drug tests available, it can be challenging to navigate the differences between them and determine which is best for your business. Two of the most common drug tests are the 5 panel and 10 panel drug tests, both of which test for various drugs and substances. In this blog post, we will break down the differences between these two popular drug tests, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right test for your business.
First, let’s start with the basics. A 5-panel drug test is a type of urine test that screens for five of the most commonly abused drugs: cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and marijuana. This test is often used in pre-employment screenings and periodic testing to ensure that employees are not under the influence of these drugs while on the job. On the other hand, a 10-panel drug test screens for these same five drugs, plus five additional substances: methadone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, and propoxyphene. The 10 panel drug test is more comprehensive and is often used for more sensitive positions or when there is a higher risk for drug abuse. There are many panels available with more drugs for drug screening and drug confirmation. The medical industry can screen for drugs that they prescribe or test individuals or groups when drugs are missing from their dispensary or when reasonable suspicion occurs.
One of the advantages of a 5 panel drug test is that it is less expensive than a 10 panel test, making it a more budget-friendly option for companies looking to implement drug testing in their workplace. Additionally, because it only tests for five substances, the results are easier to interpret and can come back quicker than a 10 panel drug test. However, it is worth noting that a 5 panel drug test may not catch all forms of drug abuse, as there are numerous other drugs and substances that are not screened for.
On the other hand, a 10 panel drug test is more comprehensive and may be necessary for companies with employees in high-risk positions or industries such as transportation or healthcare. This test is also more useful for companies wanting to screen for prescription drug abuse, as it tests for benzodiazepines and barbiturates, which are commonly prescribed as sedatives or anxiety medications. However, the drawback of a 10 panel drug test is that it is more expensive and may take longer to receive results.
In addition to urine drug tests, there are other types of drug tests that companies may choose to use. Hair follicle drug tests, for example, are known to be particularly effective at detecting drug use over a longer period of time, up to 90 days. While these tests are less common, they may be necessary for employees in certain positions where substance abuse can pose a significant danger. Oral fluid drug tests are also gaining popularity due to their ease of use and ability to test for recent drug use. These tests are particularly useful for post-accident screenings. Both of these tests can be considered more effective than urine due to the collection of oral fluids and hair are both done observed vs. urine which is mostly unobserved unless the donor has cheated. Once that happens, an observed urine collection can be ordered which may cause discomfort since the donor must urinate into the cup while the collector watches. Additionally, both sexes must be the same and individuals who may identify different than their original born sex can be difficult to manage.
One of the most critical components of any drug testing program is having a Medical Review Officer (MRO) in place to review the results and determine whether any further testing is necessary. An MRO is a licensed physician who has been trained and certified to review drug test results and identify any errors or issues that may affect the accuracy of the results. Companies should also invest in supervisor drug and alcohol awareness training to ensure that all managers are well-versed in recognizing the signs of substance abuse and properly handling situations involving drug use. The MRO also manages two important aspects of drug testing for the employer: 1. Safety Sensitive Notifications when the employee or donor tests positive for a drug that may cause safety concern and has a prescription for the drug. 2. Non-Contact positive. Non Contact positive happens when the MRO contacts the donor 3 times within a 24 hour period and donor doesn’t return call.
Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training
Very importantly you need to know about mandatory drug testing is that it is essential to educate your supervisors and HR staff on how to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse. This will equip them to be more proactive in their identification of substance misuse. Properly trained supervisors will also be able to help identify drug misuse in high-risk job positions where impaired judgment or actions can lead to serious accidents.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Your company should have a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy in place. Ensure that this policy clearly outlines the consequences for positive drug tests and should be effectively communicated to all employees. It should include a random drug testing policy, post-accident testing for employees who are involved in any workplace incident, and reasonable suspicion testing, which can be executed if there is composed evidence or indication of an employee’s drug or alcohol misuse.
Test Near Me
It is important to coordinate with a certified drug testing center near your company or job sites. The centers should have the right equipment to give you accurate results. The easiest way to find a drug testing center near you is to contact Workplace Screening Intelligence for one of the 20,000 sites located near your workplace or your employee’s home. Our facilities allows for quick turnaround on test results, has a history of high-quality and reliable results, and a staff that is friendly and professionally trained to manage the testing procedure.
Implementing a drug testing program in the workplace is an essential step in protecting the safety and wellbeing of employees and maintaining a drug-free environment. While there are numerous types of drug tests available, the 5 panel and 10 panel drug tests remain the most popular. Ultimately, the choice between these tests will largely depend on the specific needs and risks of your business. Whether you opt for a 5 panel drug test or a more comprehensive 10 panel test, it is crucial to have a solid drug and alcohol policy in place, along with an MRO and supervisor training to ensure that employees are held accountable for their actions and are aware of the consequences of substance abuse in the workplace. Be sure to research reputable testing providers and look for a test near me to ensure efficient testing.