Drug Screen Choices

As an employer, owner operator, or transportation company, ensuring that your employees are sober and alert while on the job is crucial. One way to ensure this is by conducting drug screenings regularly. However, with various drug screen panel options available, understanding each one is essential.   In this blog post, we will dive into the different choices you have with drug screen panels to make informed decisions when ordering tests. We will look at DOT and non-DOT drug tests, non-dot drug test options, what a 10-panel drug test is, and what a 5-panel drug test is.  

1. DOT Drug Test   The DOT drug test is mandatory for employees operating in the safety-sensitive transportation industry. The Department of Transportation (DOT) stipulates that individuals tested must adhere to specific drug screening guidelines. SAMHSA certifies all laboratories testing DOT drug tests, ensuring that results are reliable.   These guidelines cover a range of controlled substances, including amphetamines, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, and marijuana. Employers must ensure that all DOT drug tests are conducted in a regulated laboratory, utilize a certified collector and certified Medical Review Officer (MRO).  

2. Non-DOT Drug Test   Unlike DOT drug tests, non-DOT drug tests are not regulated by the DOT; thus, employers have more flexibility in choosing where they will conduct the test. Non-DOT drug tests can include five or ten-panel drug tests and other drugs are available which are esoteric in nature.  Some employers may test for synthetic THC for reasonable suspicion.  Some healthcare employers may test Tramadol, Meperidine or Fentanyl.  

3. Non-DOT Drug Test Options   Non-DOT drug test options are similar to DOT drug tests, but employers can customize their non-DOT drug tests. Employers can add additional drugs or metabolites, including alcohol and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, to test for drug use. This allows employers to tailor their drug testing programs to their specific needs, environments, and workforces.  

4. What is a 5 Panel Drug Test?   A 5-panel drug test is commonly used for pre-employment drug screening. This drug test analyses five classes of controlled substances, including marijuana, opiates, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines.   It’s important to note that many employers combine a 5 panel drug test for a comprehensive screening. This is also a commonly used panel for post-accident drug testing.  

5. What is a 10 Panel Drug Test?   A 10-panel drug test is more comprehensive than a 5-panel drug test and screens for ten classes of drugs, including marijuana, opiates, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone (Quaaludes), propoxyphene and methadone.   Employers in environments with a higher risk of drug use are more likely to use a 10-panel drug test. A 10-panel drug test is often used in conjunction with an alcohol test for a comprehensive screening, including random and post-accident drug testing.  

Overall, drug screenings play a crucial role in workplace safety protocols. Employers must understand the different drug screening panels available and how these can be customized based on their specific work environments and workforces. Whether opting for a DOT drug test, non-DOT drug test, non-dot drug test options, a 10-panel drug test or a 5-panel drug test, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements is essential.   By understanding the different drug screen panel options available, you can create a drug screening program that is tailored to meet your organization’s unique needs. Don’t know which drug test to choose or need to order a drug screen today, contact Workplace Screening Intelligence at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com