HomeDrug EducationWhat is a 9 panel drug test?

What is a 9 panel drug test?

In drug testing programs, the number of panels represents the number of drugs tested. Therefore, a 9 panel drug test will check for 9 drugs while a 10 panel drug test will check for 10 drugs, and so on and so forth. Typically, a 9 panel drug test is used by employers to assess if their new hires are drugs users or by sports bodies to check if athletes are using banned substances to enhance their performances.

Drugs Tested by the 9-Panel Drug Test

  • Methadone

This drug is known to cause intense addiction, and it is mostly used to relieve pain and to treat withdrawal symptoms that come with using too much narcotics. The user, therefore, weans off the narcotic substances from their bodies without upsetting the central nervous system. However, its ability to relieve pain means that it is one of the most abused drugs.

  • Amphetamines

This drug is specifically made to treat ADHD, but most users use it for other reasons, such as to maintain alertness and focus. As a result, it is common among students when they are preparing for exams. It stimulates the central nervous system, and is almost similar to cocaine.

  • Benzodiazepines

Used to treat seizure disorders and anxiety, but is also highly potent and extremely addictive. Once you become addicted, your body and brain will develop an overdependence on the drug and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.

  • Barbiturates

Just like Benzodiazepines, this drug is made to treat seizure disorders and anxiety, but most people use it for recreational purposes. It is highly potent, and when mixed with other illegal substances can cause overdose and death.

  • Cocaine

Cocaine is an intense stimulant and one of the highly addictive drugs. Prolonged usage of this drug has been known to cause addiction, depression, anxiety, and anti-social behaviors.

  • Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene is narcotic and is used to relieve pain or suppress cough. However, it does not eliminate pain, but only makes it more moderate. In 2010, the drug was abolished from the markets due to its high health and safety risks.

  • Marijuana

While there are no known deadly risks associated with marijuana use, many employers will still test for the drug. Most users take it to get a ‘high’ feeling.

  • Basic Opiates

These include the heroine, codeine, and morphine. Out of the three, heroine is the most dangerous and also highly addictive. A single dose of heroine can turn you into an addict.

  • Phencyclidine (PSP)

PCP is a hallucinogenic drug that causes users to feel paranoid, invincible, and anxious. It is also highly addictive and long-term usage has adverse effects such as seizures, blurred vision, and even death.

Testing Methods

The 9 panel drug test relies on three methods to detect drug usage. These are:

  • Urine drug test
  • Hair follicle drug test
  • Mouth swab drug test

Upon testing, a positive result means that you have used the drug while a negative result means that you have not used the drug within the detection period. The result could also be inconclusive to mean that no determination was made regarding your drugs usage.

Now, let’s look at the three testing methods in details:

Urine Drug Test

This is the cheapest of the three testing methods, and this could explain why most employers prefer it. The person being tested is required to produce about 1.5 ounces of their urine in a container to a technician. First, the technician measures the temperature of the sample to ensure it falls within the proper range. If the test turns out positive, a second test is done to confirm while a mass spectrometry or gas chromatography is used to determine the drugs tested.

Hair Follicle Drug Test

The hair follicle drug test is the most expensive for employers, but its benefits are immense. Irrespective of the drug being tested, the detection window is usually 90 days.

About 120 hairs that are close to your scalp are taken and sealed into a bag before being delivered to a lab. The technician then cuts the hair to about 1.5 inches for testing and discards the rest.

Mouth Swab Drug Test

This method is limited as it can only detect drugs that have been used less than 72 hours before the swab. However, the good thing is that it detects drugs quickly compared to the other two methods. For example, marijuana and alcohol can be detected immediately after use while most of the other drugs will be detectable in an hour.

A sterile swab in combination with the relevant panels is used to absorb the subject’s saliva. The test is complete once the saliva becomes saturated.

Tim Rosenberger
Tim Rosenberger
Hey there! I'm Tim, the founder, and author of Too Slick. I created this blog to share my passion for all things related to family, home improvement, health, drug education, and more, with a focus on making your life easier. My goal is to help you lead a healthier, happier life by providing practical tips and insights. Let's learn together and have some fun!

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