5 Panel Drug Test for Employee Screening

5 Panel Drug Test for Employee Screening


As an employer, it's important to ensure that your workplace is safe and drug-free. One way to achieve this is by conducting drug testing for your employees. The 5 panel drug test is a popular choice among employers because it screens for five commonly abused drugs.

The 5-panel urine drug test is the most common drug test for employment and the best choice for employers who want to establish a drug-free workplace through a drug testing program.

A five-panel drug test screens for Amphetamines, Cocaine, Phencyclidine, Marijuana, and Opiates. It is the industry-standard drug test recommended and used by federal and state governments to test applicants and employees. 

It is for two reasons - One, it covers all the major illicit drugs abused in the USA. Two, it fits the criteria of the Federal government's (SAMHSA's) Mandatory workplace drug testing guidelines.


Here is a 2 minute video that best explains the 5 panel urine drug test kit and why it is the preferred solution for drug screening employees in the workplace. 

Table Of Contents:

What Is A 5-Panel Drug Test?

The standard 5 panel drug test also known as 5 panel urine drug screening or five panel urine drug test is the common type of drug test conducted by private and government employers to test the employees for drug abuse. Employers use 5 panel drug testing kits to identify drug consumption immediately within minutes.

In certain situations, the specimen may be sent to a SAMHSA-certified laboratory for further analysis and the Medical Review Officer (MRO) will review the results. Most employers conduct on-site drug test using the 5 panel urine drug test kits to keep their employees in check.

Many federal agencies involved in public safety and national security use 5-panel drug test. One of the significant organizations is the Department of Transportation. DOT and its agencies use 5-panel drug tests as their standard drug testing method for pre-employment, random, and return-to-duty testing.

US Health Testing, a renowned drug testing service provider and a proud partner of Labcorp offers DOT and Drug and Alcohol testing services helping you to book a drug test online within 2 minutes. Here is the video explaining how you can book your DOT drug test online within 2 minutes.

Are you using a 5-panel drug testing kit for your preliminary testing? Uritox LLC offers high-quality drug testing kits at affordable rates. Purchase our drug testing kits in bulk at discount rates and get the delivery on the same day (if ordered before 3 pm EST)

Apart from the 5 panel drug screening, an employer may conduct 1 panel, 4 panel, 6 panel, 10 panel, and 12 panel as per their company drug testing policy and the state and federal drug testing policy. Here is the complete list of all the different panel urine drug tests that you can choose as per your company policies. 

Who Conducts A Standard 5 Panel Drug Test?

The majority of the workplace in the United States rely on the 5-Panel Drug Test Kits. The 5-panel drug test is also deemed the standard panel and used by many private and government agencies.

5-Panel Drug Tests are commonly used by

  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Non-DOT
  • Federal Government
  • Private Agencies
  • Non-Regulated Companies

    What Does A 5 panel Drug Test Test For?

    A standard 5 panel drug test screens the most common illicit drugs abused in the United States

    • MMJ/Cannabis (THC)
    • Cocaine (COC)
    • Opiates (OPI)
    • Amphetamines (AMP)
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)
    1. Cocaine (COC)

    Cocaine is analogous to a white powder, commonly mixed with other look-alikes to create artificial fillers. It can be injected, snorted, or inhaled to get the feeling of high. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug due to its high susceptibility towards psychological or physical dependence. Similar to opiates, this drug also has a very high potential for addiction.

    1. Amphetamines and Methamphetamines

    Amphetamines come in pill forms and sometimes crushed and snorted. Amphetamines are also mixed with the other fillers to increase the quantity and the weight. Patients with ADHD and ADD are prescribed amphetamine in the form of Adderall and Ritalin. Amphetamines is a Schedule II drug with a potential for abuse, including psychological and physical dependence.

    Methamphetamine is another form of amphetamine consisting of a similar base of chemicals as in amphetamines. It is commonly known as the "meth," which is either found in powder or crystal form. Methamphetamine gives a sudden rush of euphoria, increased senses, and sudden rise in energy and focus. Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug and is typically tested in the 5-panel drug test. 

    1. Opiates (OPI)

    Opiates are used for medical and recreational purposes and a derivative of the opium poppy plant. Codeine, Morphine, Vicodin, etc., have opiates/opium alkaloid extracts prescribed to help relieve pain and acts as an relaxer. When taken more than the prescribed dose, it may potentiate physical dependence and psychological addiction.

    6-MAM is a hard drug that is derived from morphine. It is a Schedule I drug and highly addictive. When injected intravenously, it provides the fastest and most intense rush. Opiates are also snorted and smoked.

    1. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

    THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is an active chemical found naturally in the MMJ plant. Marinol is the synthetic form of THC.

    Cannabis products, when consumed, produce mild-to-moderate analgesic effects, including euphoric feelings and relaxation. Consuming weed also leads to anxiousness or paranoia.

    MMJ is a plant's dried flower buds usually made into hash or included in the baked food consumed as brownies and cookies. MMJ users consume it either by smoking or as an edible. People with different preferences also take it as tea.

    The federal government doesn't recognize MMJ for any medical purpose, thus considering it for Schedule I drugs. However, many states in the US recognize the medicinal value of MMJ, which allows its use under legal prescription. Though they have legalized MMJ usage, there is no escape from its test as the THC is checked under 5-panel drug tests.

    1. Phencyclidine (PCP)

    Phencyclidine is an illegally created synthetic chemical substance that is available in powder form or liquid. Users smoke, inject or snort it. Phencyclidine is used to tranquilize animals. It is also known as PCP or Angel Dust. It is one of the dangerous substances and distorts the senses, hallucinations, and feelings of detachment from the surroundings. It is labeled as a Schedule II drug by the federal government.

    NOTE: Individuals abusing these substances may lose their job, risk workplace accidents, and threaten workplace safety.

    How Is A 5 Panel Drug Test Done?

    A standard 5 panel drug test is conducted in two ways - Instant drug test and a Lab drug test.

    An instant urine 5 panel test involves three process - sample collection, Testing, and result evaluation. Here is how you, as an employer, can conduct an instant drug test for your employees and candidates.

    Sample Collection and Drug Testing

    1. As the first step, you need to provide a sample collection cup to your candidate/employee to collect the urine sample during the 5 panel drug screening.
    2. If you are conducting a supervised drug test, your observer can assist the individual inside the restroom but he cannot enter the private stall where the individual is allowed to fill the sample.
    3. Make sure that the individual had filled the sample at a level of at least 30 mL of urine to a maximum of 100 mL.
    4. Check the temperature of the urine before testing. The urine sample should have a temperature range of 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit to be eligible for drug testing.
    5. Once the candidate provides the sample, you can dip the 5 panel drug screening kit into the sample for 3 to 5 minutes and you can know the results immediately.

    5 panel drug test results

    1. You can see two regions in your drug testing kit - Control region and Testing region.
    2. You can find five white spaces below the indicated drugs in your five panel drug test kit.
    3. The line in the control region indicates that your drug test kit is working fine.
    4. The testing region line identifies whether the candidate is negative or positive for that drug. 
    5. If your candidate tests negative, you can find both the C and T line in your drug test. If your candidate is positive for any of the 5 panel drugs, the T line will not appear. 
    6. Faint line may appear on an urine 5 panel drug test. The intensity of the line does not have a say in your 5 panel drug test. 
    7. If your candidate considers that it might be false-positive, you can send the test to the SAMHSA authorized lab to analyze and confirm the results.

    Lab Drug Testing

    An employer may go for a lab drug test to confirm the results of the preliminary drug test conducted using kits. Sometimes, employers may opt directly for a lab drug test during pre-employment and random drug testing.

    US Health Testing offers lab testing nationwide in 50 states in 3000+ locations. Choose your drug test at the nearest lab by entering your zip code, nearest lab, and the drug test of choice. US HealthTesting adheres to a strict chain of custody protocol.

    5 Panel Drug Tests vs. 10 Panel Drug Tests

    Is your employee overdosing prescription drugs and/or taking benzos and other synthetic opiates? You will need to conduct a 10 panel drug test to identify the most commonly abused prescription drugs and synthetic opiates. But is it efficient than the 5 panel drug screening? Not necessarily. Let us compare them.

    A standard 5 panel drug test is used to identify five major illicit substances whereas the 10 panel drug test helps tracking 10 drugs.  Either of them is usually preferred for pre-employment, random drug testing, and post-accident drug testing.

    The 5 panel drug screening is the standard and the most common drug testing panel to identify drug use whereas the 10 panel includes other prescription drugs like benzodiazepines, methaqualone, methadone, oxycodone, and barbiturates for drug testing candidates and employees. Some drugs like hydrocodone may show up in your 7 panel drug test.  

    There are several differences between the 5 panel drug test and the 10 panel drug test that includes detection time, similarities, and dissimilarities. 

    What Is A 5 Panel iCup Drug Test?

    The 5 panel iCup is a type of drug testing kit that eliminates the handling of the urine sample and checks for adulteration. It checks for PH, nitrite, specific gravity, creatinine and other oxidants.

    The 5 panel iCup drug test provides instant and accurate drug test results with multiple security features. Only the collector can activate the drug test using a 5 panel iCup. This prevents donor manipulation. Also the label hides the drug test results to prevent leakage of test results. 

    The 5 panel iCup drug test is effective for pre-employment, random, post-accident, hospital and personal drug testing purposes. Before initiating the drug test, make sure that you know how to collect and read the 5 panel icup drug test.

    DOT 5 Panel Drug Test

    The DOT drug test is a standard 5 panel drug test that looks for 5 most illicit drugs. The USDOT updated their drug testing policy recently in January 2018.

    As per the updated drug testing policy, it is decided for the DOT regulated employers to conduct a DOT 5 panel urine drug test, which is a confirmatory test for 14 drugs in the 5 panel that include opioids and amphetamine groups.

    What is a 5 panel non-dot drug test?

    The Non-DOT 5 panel urine test is a kind of test that employers can conduct on their norms without the regulation of the DOT. You can determine the timing, frequency, and the way of drug testing through your drug testing policy. 

    The Non-DOT drug test is the same as the DOT drug test with employer’s discretion benefits. The employer has to adhere to certain federal laws, but the state and local laws are more common and optional.

    For instance, it is not mandatory for you to conduct Non-DOT workplace drug testing as per DOT rules, but if you follow, you could earn workers comp discounts.

    Amazon Drug Test Policy

    Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the entire United States. They strictly follow the federal guidelines in drug testing their employees and individuals.

    They conduct mandatory drug testing for their transportation workers and applicants. As per the Amazon drug testing policy, the corporate employees may not get drug tested unless there occurs any reasonable grounds for drug testing.

    Amazon conducts standard 5 panel drug test for their employees and individuals during their pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug test.

    Does Alcohol Show Up On A 5 Panel Drug Test?

    A standard 5 panel drug test does not test for alcohol. If you want to test alcohol, you might prefer the EtG Instant Urine drug test. You can also test alcohol through hair if you want to test long term alcohol abuse. Know more about the hair alcohol drug test facts before initiating your 5 panel hair follicle drug test.

    Does CBD show up in a five panel drug test?

    CBD may not possibly show up on your five panel drug test. The 5 panel drug screening looks for THC in the MMJ and not CBD. There are less chances that you might get positive results by consuming CBD products. It may depend on the product quality and composition. If you take huge amounts, CBD may ruin your 5 panel drug test.

    Specimens Used In 5 Panel Drug Test

    The most commonly administered 5 panel drug screening is the 5 panel urine test. But sometimes, oral saliva and hair drug tests are taken into consideration.


    • Easy to administer, non-invasive, and cost-efficient.
    • Detects the presence of drug(s) and their metabolites.
    • Detects a wide variety of drugs.
    • Results are immediate and accurate.
    • The drug-specific detection window; varies from a few days to a few weeks depending on the drugs.
    • Administered in various testing situations such as pre-employment, random, post-accident, follow-up, etc.
    • Difficult to cheat if administered under strict supervision.

    5 panel Saliva Drug Test

    • It is easier to avail a saliva drug test kit and handy to store than the others.
    • Quick and easier to administer.
    • No intrusion of privacy, as in the case of urine drug tests.
    • Tamper-free since the oral fluids are collected under direct supervision.
    • Detects drug residues ingested orally in the last 24 to 48 hours after last use.
    • Detects metabolites at lower thresholds, which at times can be missed by urine test or remains undetectable.
    • Studies have shown that saliva tests are generally more accurate in detecting meth and opiates used illegally or prescribed.
    • Less reliable in detecting cannabinoids.

    If you are looking for short term abuse, a 5 panel urine test and the 5 panel saliva test is reasonable. The 5 panel hair follicle drug test is the best option if you are looking for long-term abuse. 

    Drug Testing Statistics

    • Urine tests are done by around 90 percent of employers.
    • The saliva test is used by around 10 percent of employers.
    • Hair follicle test more or less around 7 percent of employers.

    Drug Detection Window And Cut-Off Threshold



    Detection Window

    Cut-Off Threshold



    1 to 2 days, depending on type

    1000 ng/mL



    Single Use: 1-4 days

    Heavy Use: Up to a wee

    1000 ng/mL



    1 to 4 days

    2000 ng/mL



    8 days

    25 ng/mL



    3 to 30 days, depending on use

    50 ng/mL



    2 to 10 days

    300 ng/mL


    Drugs may be detected in the samples

    Urine: Up to 48 hours

    Saliva: Up to three days

    Hair: Up to three months (90 days)

    Benefits Of 5 Panel Drug Test

    1. Increases the productivity of your workplace.
    2. Reduces the workplace accidents.
    3. Joining the Drug Free Workplace Program helps you get workers comp discounts.
    4. Enhanced trust between the employers and employees.
    5. Reduced Absenteeism.

    Benefits Of 5 Panel Drug Testing Kits

    • Cost: The drug testing kit costs less when compared to the laboratory test.
    • Layman's Job: To understand and interpret the results is an easy process that doesn't have to be monitored by a specially trained person.
    • User-Friendly: Anyone can use a 5 panel drug testing kit.
    • Multitasking: A 5 panel drug test can detect multiple drugs as each of its panels is efficient in testing the five major groups of drugs discussed above, all at once.
    • Shelf Life: It is easy to store due to its longer shelf life.

    Where to get a 5 panel drug test kit? Purchase your 5 panel drug test kits online at cheapest rates from the best online kit outlet in the entire USA.

      Bottom Line

      The five panel drug test has been around for a long time, and it's evolved over the years as the gold standard for drug screening employees. It assures the employer that the employee is sober at work and productive at the workplace.

      For employers, we recommend listing clear drug testing policies with adequate support for employees and options for treating substance abuse disorders.

      Let's work together to promote a safe workplace!

      Want to know more facts about Illicit Drugs? Here is our Drug Facts page for you!

      Get our High-Quality Employer 5 Panel Drug Test Kits in bulk at discount rates. We have been advocation and promoting the workplace safety for over 17 years and hope to serve you. 

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is a five panel drug test?

      A five  panel drug test is the standard drug testing method preferred by most government and private organizations for testing their candidates and employees. The 5 panel drug test looks for highly abusive drugs - THC, COC, PCP, AMP, and Opiates. Get your 5 panel drug test kits in bulk from Uritox LLC at discount prices

      How accurate is a five panel drug test?

      The 5 panel drug screening is the most sought drug testing method because it is 99% accurate and can provide instant results within minutes. Book your 5 panel drug test at US Health Testing, the proud partner of Uritox LLC.

      What causes a false positive drug test?

      Although false positives are rare, there are possibilities of false positives as no test is ever 100% accurate. A drug screen can detect certain illegal drugs that are not even consumed. These can undoubtedly happen due to the consumption of over-the-counter medication, a particular food, or prescription medication.

      It will be known to the person in question whether or not the results are accurate; in that case, one must consult with their healthcare provider and cut down on a few prescribed medicines that are known to cause false positives and repeat the test.

      USHealthTesting reduces the possibility of false positives by providing accurate results. Choose your 5 panel drug test at the nearest lab through USHealthtesting. Just enter your zip code, choose the nearest lab, and the drug test of choice. Your results will be sent directly to your or your organization. 

      What kind of laboratories should be preferred for drug testing?

      Any drug test specimens sent to laboratories should be certified by SAMHSA. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a part of the US Department of Human and Health Services that promote public health efforts and advances in the nation's behavioral health. Their main motive is to monitor and reduce the impact of mental illness and substance abuse on American communities.

      What is the time duration to check for the drugs?

      The time frame for detection can vary based on several factors. A more problematic drug like cocaine will leave the body in a shorter time, whereas the softer ones like MMJ take longer to exit. In this process, metabolism, body fat, and weight play a significant role. The frequency of usage also determines the system's infiltration. 

      The human metabolism combined with the drug's period of retention in the body works differently. Some take longer than expected, whereas some may even escape the detection. There are specific guidelines to follow; the drugs other than THC can get detected in the urine test for 5-7 days.

      How to pass a 5 panel drug test?

      You can pass your 5 panel drug test if you refrain from taking the drugs. If you are taking MMJ under prescription and belong to the state where MMJ is legal, it is better to indicate your prescription to the Tester and MRO. There are several traditional and modern strategies that may help you pass your 5 panel drug test.

      How to pass a 5 panel drug test for THC?

      You can possibly pass your 5 panel drug test for THC if you prevent using THC metabolites. Book your 5 panel drug test @ US Health Testing.  If you are using under medical prescription or for recreational purposes, you can indicate your usage to your tester during the drug test.

      How to cope with the THC in the States where MMJ is legal?

      Excluding MMJ depends on the employers in states where MMJ is legalized. It is also equally important to cause deterrence against MMJ abuse since it may negatively impact both the employee and employer.

      Since MMJ is a mind-altering drug, users may develop dependence or addiction to cannabis. It can affect an individual's ability to understand, handle difficult tasks and slow down the response time.

      How to pass a 5 panel hair follicle drug test?

      The drug metabolites in the hair might stay for a maximum of 90 days. You may pass your hair follicle drug test if you keep yourself away from using the drugs for 90 days. You should never use any tampering methods to pass your 5 panel hair follicle drug test as it may lead to threatening consequences if you get caught.

      Does the menstrual cycle affect the 5 panel drug test?

      A urine test conducted at the time of a menstrual cycle may contaminate the 5 panel urine test.

      What temperature is required for the 5 panel drug test?

      The urine temperature should be between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit within four minutes of the sample collection. If it is above or below the said temperature, it may be deemed adulterated or unfit.

      What are the preventive measures taken before a drug test?

      Usually, the drug test is a surprise check in the office, but if you know it beforehand, then there is a list of things that need to be avoided before the drug test commences. 24 hours before the drug test, one should avoid

      • Strenuous exercises such as working out in the gym, swimming, playing, etc.
      • Alcohol
      • Acetaminophen
      • Antihistamines
      • Vitamin B
      • Caffeine
      • Aspirin

      What drugs are tested in a 5 panel drug screen?

      A standard 5 panel drug test can expose the usage of common illicit drugs - THC, PCP, Opiates, COC, and AMP.

      Does a 5 panel drug test for MMJ?

      Yes, the 5 panel drug test can accurately detect the presence of MMJ (THC) metabolites in your sample. Hence, it is considered the standard drug test for MMJ.

      How long does a 5 panel drug test take?

      If you buy or purchase the best 5 panel drug test kits from a trusted online outlet, you can know the results within minutes ( 99% accuracy). If it is sent to a confirmatory test, you can expect the results within 48 to 72 hours.

      Can you warm up urine in a microwave for a drug test?

      No you should not. It is best to prevent such practices as it might affect the components of your urine leading to invalidation. Keeping your urine in the microwave might lead to overheating that can destroy the urine sample components.

      What type of drug test does CPS use?

      CPS may go for a standard 5 panel mouth swab or urine test if there arises a suspicion that the safety of the child might be threatened due to parents' drug abuse.

      Do MRO only call if you fail?

      The MRO will review the drug test results one way or the another if your fail or pass your 5 panel drug test. Drug test results from the lab will have to pass through the review and confirmation of MRO.

      If the test result is negative, the MRO will send the results to the employer. If it is positive, the MRO will send the results to the employer only after an inquiry with the donor asking a medical explanation for the positive results.

      How long do you need to be clean to pass a urine drug test?

      An infrequent user might test positive for 1 to 3 days after the last use. If you are an moderate user, the drugs may retain in your urine for 1 to 3 weeks. The drugs may stay in your body for a month if you are a heavy user.

      What color should urine be for a drug test?

      The normal color of the urine for a drug test is pale yellow. If it is more white, it means you are over-hydrated and if it is thick yellow or orange, it means you are dehydrated.

      What is the blue stuff in the toilet when taking the drug test?

      The blue stuff is nothing but a coloring agent that is added by the laboratory to prevent candidate's submission of toilet water as urine sample.

      Is it legal for someone to watch you pee during a drug test?

      Maybe or maybe not. If it is a standard 5 panel drug test, the employer should not invade the privacy by watch the candidate pee. But, if it is a military drug test or a supervised drug test, the courts allow the employer appoint a supervisor to accompany you up to the sample collection area.

      The supervisor might not watch you pee but will be present outside the sample collection area to make sure you collect your sample without tampering.

      Is it better to refuse the drug test or fail?

      It is best recommended to take the drug test. Refusing the drug test might be considered as positive. As per the words of DOT, it is better to comply, then complain.

      Can I fight a failed DOT drug Test?

      You can. You can go through the Return-to-Duty Drug testing process and pass it to return to your safety sensitive work again.

      Where can I buy a 5 panel drug test?

      Buy your cheapest 5 panel drug testing kits online at Uritox LLC. We have been promoting a drug-free workplace for 17 years and screened over 1.3 million employees and counting. 

      How much does a 5 panel drug test cost?

      Uritox LLC offers high-quality drug testing kits at the cheapest prices. You can get your premium 5-panel urine dip drug test kit at only $5.13 and a standard urine test kit at just $4.17. The 5-panel saliva drug testing kits are available for just $5.35.

      Is Uritox’s test the same as getting a 5-panel drug test at Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart?

      No. Uritox LLC stands out from other retailers as we highly focus on drug testing kits rather than other pharma and retail products. Our 5 panel drug test kits are unique, equipped with multiple features, accurate, and constructed in a professional manner. Our 5 panel drug test kits are analyzed by SAMHSA-certified laboratories like Labcorp and are FDA-Approved.

      Does Uritox LLC Offer 5 Panel Tests That Go Back Further Than a Urine Drug Screening?

      Of course yes. We offer hair follicle drug test kits that can help you trace your drug usage 90 days back. It can track all major drugs like THC, COC, AMP, etc. along with synthetic opiates, and other prescription drugs with abusive potential. Reach us today and we will help you choose the best 5 panel drug test kit for your employee drug test.

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