The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

What is a 5 Panel Drug Test?

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A five panel drug test checks urine for five specific categories of drugs. The categories are cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, opioids, and THC. Test results are determined by a physician.

Employers may use this test as a condition of employment and may periodically ask employees to take the five panel drug test. Doctors may run this test on patients they suspect of using drugs. Those going through rehabilitation may need to take periodic five panel drug tests. Certain types of athletes may have to take this drug test.

Convicted felons on federal probation or federal supervised release must take at least three drug tests. If a felon out on release fails a drug test, he or she will have their probation revoked and serve mandatory prison time. Federal employees also must take a five panel drug test.


Cocaine comes from the cocoa plant that stimulates the nervous system. People using cocaine report euphoria and increased self-confidence and energy. Cocaine causes increased heart rate, pupil dilation, tremors, fever, and sweating. It can be detected in urine from 24 to 48 hours after use.


Amphetamines can be used for legitimate medical purposes. Overuse of amphetamines stimulates the nervous system increasing alertness and energy while decreasing the appetite. Unhealthy responses include paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, and psychotic behavior. Amphetamines can be detected from four to twenty-four hours after use.


Methamphetamine may also have therapeutic uses. High doses stimulate the nervous system causing increased energy, euphoria, and alertness while decreasing appetite. Users will experience irregular heart rates and increased blood pressure. Other reactions include paranoia, anxiety, psychotic behavior, and hallucinations. When coming down from methamphetamine, users will feel exhaustion and depression. Methamphetamine can be detected in urine for up to 5 days.


An opioid is designed for pain relief by depressing the nervous system. Morphine is a well-known example from the medical field. Opioids are the main ingredients of heroin and cocaine. This classification of drugs can be detected in urine for several days.


THC, more commonly known as marijuana, gives users a feeling of euphoria. Unwanted side effects include short term memory loss, decreased learning capacity, anxiety, confusion, or even behavioral disorders. Marijuana can be detected in urine up to ten days.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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