What Is a Multi-Panel Drug Test?

It’s hard to imagine a time when there were only a handful of illegal drugs, yet only half a century ago, most people were aware only of heroin and marijuana. There probably were others, such as cocaine, but their use was over so narrow a sector of the population that they might as well have been nonexistent.

Today, there are dozens of street drugs circulating through the population of the United States. Most teenagers and adults have experimented with drugs at least once. Most people who do try a drug, generally do not continue with its use, for one reason or another, but there is a significant number of people who do go on to become regular users and then progress to addicts.

Besides the well-known drugs that everyone has become familiar with, new ‘designer drugs’ are created every year, partly in the hopes of profiting before there is legislation against the new drug. All of these drugs come with their own price tag, in addition to cost, and they can cause a number of mental and physical impairments that could adversely affect performance on the job or at school. Drug use also causes enormous problems with a normal family life.

Drug use often goes hand-in-hand with violence, so it’s important to screen out those who may have a greater chance of inflicting harm on others or themselves. And, simply because there are so many different drugs available, the multi-panel drug test was developed.

How Multi-Panel Drug Tests Work

When considering hiring someone for employment, even where the job would not involve sensitive work, such as with children or in a medical establishment, the prevalence of drug use often means that a multi-panel drug test will be administered.

Until these convenient tests were available, the results of urine tests would have to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. This process was often costly and results may have been delayed for days – an inconvenience to all. When blood tests were needed, the cost and time element would be even higher.

Multi-Panel Drug Tests, on the other hand, offer an almost instantaneous result for both illegal drugs and for prescription medications. The number of drugs that can be detected will vary from kit to kit, with some kits being able to detect up to 16 different drugs, including the following:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Crack cocaine
  • Opium

These drug testing kits come with urine cups that are sealed immediately after use and so can be handled safely by those conducting the test. A great benefit to multi-panel test kits is that there is no need for the urine to leave the cup for any reason. The results of the test will show up on the outside of the cup, which can then simply be thrown away.

Where Multi-Panel Drug Test Kits Are Used

Workplaces will be where most of the multi-panel test cups are used. Besides being a condition of employment to begin with, many employers will also conduct random drug testing of their workers, especially if tardiness and missed work days become prevalent. Erratic behavior of any kind will also often warrant a surprise test.

Schools are often engaged in a running battle with drug abuse. In order to provide a safer learning environment, some schools have also chosen to conduct drug testing on a regular basis, as well as scheduling random tests, too.

It’s often difficult to be a conscientious parent in today’s modern world. The efforts of the best parents can be undone by their child beginning to use drugs. Many teens are encouraged by their friends to try drugs, and extreme peer pressure can often make a reluctant child experiment. Becoming aware of drug use before it becomes the be-all-and-end-all of the child’s life can make it much easier initiate a successful course of treatment.

Teens will sometimes not only buy street drugs, but will also help themselves to pain relievers their parents or relatives may have in the home. A multi-panel drug test can help allay parents’ fears and help them make sensible decisions about their child.

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