A 5 Panel drug test is used in most workplace drug tests and is widely considered as the standard in drug testing as mandated by the government.
All drug tests are separate from each other in the form of panels, where one panel is equivalent to one drug being checked. A 10 panel test, for example, checks for 10 types of drugs. The test typically scans for some of the most commonly abused substances, such as Opiates, Amphetamines, Cocaine, THC and PCP. Employers and agencies alike can select the scope of the drug panels to be tested, and the specimen needed (saliva, blood or urine). The 5 panel tests for these substances:
1. Cocaine- takes the usual form as a white powder and can be mixed with similar-looking ingredients such as baby powder or baking soda to "bulk" it up. It is processed and derived from the leaves of the coca plant and works as a stimulant. People who take it intend to stay up for a long time doing work or having fun in overnight parties. It can also act as a powerful appetite suppressant that leads to rapid weight loss.
2 Amphetamine and Methamphetamine- take the usual form of a pill that enters the body through snorting. Artificial fillers can also be used to bulk it up. It is a drug that can be normally found in prescriptions for ADD and ADHD patients like Ritalin and Adderall. Much like cocaine, it works as a stimulant and a hunger suppressant, albeit in a milder form. People who take it find themselves alert, awake and superbly focused.
Methamphetamine is amphetamine with similar chemical bases and has a nickname of "meth". It takes the form of a crystals or powder, and the user experiences an exhilarating rush of increased focus, energy, and euphoria. The same user comes down from getting high after a while, but the next high requires a greater dosage. This creates a dangerous addiction and destroys dopamine receptors through repeated use.
3. Opiate- the opium poppy plant has a versatile opiate base that can either be made into heroin, an illegal drug or into morphine that is mainly used as a medical painkiller. It works as a relaxant and may enter the body through injecting, snorting or smoking. It is very addictive and dangerous when injected because diseases can be transmitted in this manner.
4. THC- is a natural product found in the marijuana plant and can also be made into synthetic form, known as Marinol. It can be processed into a hash to be smoked, or can be baked in with food such as cookies and brownies. People who take marijuana want to experience a strong feeling of euphoria, with risks of extreme paranoia and anxiety. When consumed for a prolonged period, it may cause negative cognitive effects and increase the lack of motivation.
5. PCP- Phencyclidine can either be illegally made or stolen from vet sources. It takes the form of a yellow, clear liquid or in powder form. Users may snort, inject or smoke this substance to gain its effects. People who ingest it encounter severe hallucinations and dangerous "out of body" experiences. Prolonged use can lead to a schizophrenic state.
The 5 panel drug test is carefully designed to prevent the risk of these illegal substances entering the workplace and make it a drug-free environment.