Drugs Tested

What drugs to tests detect?

Testing conducted according to SAMHSA’s guidelines checks for five illicit drugs plus, in some cases, alcohol (ethanol, ethyl alcohol, booze).  These five illicit drugs are:

  • Amphetamines (meth, speed, crank, ecstasy)
  • THC (cannabinoids, marijuana, hash)
  • Cocaine (coke, crack)
  • Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust)

However, most private employers are not limited in the number of substances they can test for and may include drugs that individuals legitimately and/or therapeutically take based on a physician’s prescription.  Although most private employers can test for any combination of drugs, there are commonly selected “panels.”

The typical 8-Panel Test includes the above-mentioned substances plus:

  • Barbiturates (phenobarbital, butalbital, secobarbital, downers)
  • Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax)
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)

The typical 10-Panel Test includes the 8-Panel Test plus:

  • Methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon compounds)

Testing can also be done for:

  • Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, peyote)
  • Inhalants (paint, glue, hairspray)
  • Anabolic steroids (synthesized, muscle-building hormones)
  • Hydrocodone (prescription medication known as Lortab, Vicodin, Oxycodone)
  • MDMA ( commonly known as Ecstasy)
Who benefits from drug testing?



  • Safe working environment
  • Workplace productivity
  • Quality of work
  • Reduce:

  • Health insurance costs
  • Absenteeism and turnover
  • Work related accidents
  • Workplace conflict
  • Thefts and claims



  • Desirability to employers
  • Quick hiring
  • Personal confidence
  • Offer employers:

  • High productivity
  • Stability
  • Safe workplace
  • Reliability
  • Decreased expenses



  • Open discussion about drugs
  • Honesty about drug use
  • Consideration of consequences
  • Provide:

  • A reason to say “no” to drugs
  • Consistent parenting
  • Intervention
  • Opportunity for help
  • Guidance