Substance Use

6 Panel Drug Test: What Drugs Does it Detect?

6 panel drug test

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6 Panel Drug Test: What Drugs Does It Detect?

A six-panel drug test uses urine collected from the individual getting tested to screen for amphetamines, methamphetamines, marijuana metabolites, cocaine metabolites, opiates/opioids, phencyclidine (a.k.a. PCP), barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.

Here, you’ll learn all about six-panel urine drug screens, what substances they test for, and what you can expect from drug testing—from pre-drug screen through receiving your test results.

Have you or a loved one been asked to submit to a drug test? It might be scary, but it’s not cause for panic. Zinnia Health operates a 24/7 information hotline staffed by knowledgeable and compassionate professionals who can offer valuable information to help you make informed decisions for your health. Call (855) 430-9439 today.

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You Have to Take a Drug Test: Now What?

If you’ve never been asked to pee in a cup, you might be scared or confused the first time you hear the words drug test. If you’re voluntarily seeking substance abuse treatment, a drug screen is a typical part of the admissions process

But if you’ve just applied to a new job or you’re involved in legal proceedings, a drug screen can be frightening—especially if you use any illicit substances and a judge has ordered you to submit to a urine test. When ordered by the courts, if a drug screen finds that you’re abusing substances, you may face mandatory court-ordered substance abuse treatment and any associated fees.

What Type of Test is a Six-Panel Drug Test? 

A six-panel drug test is a urine test that checks for specific types of drugs using a urine specimen from an individual.

Like its name suggests, a six-panel drug test has six panels. Each panel is designed to look for a different drug category. Six-panel drug screens are used for pre-employment screenings, ongoing employment drops, legal proceedings, and at rehab centers.

The test provides valuable information about an individual’s recent drug use and helps professionals design effective, tailored treatment plans and interventions. 

What Drugs Does a 6 Panel Drug Test Screen For? 

The power of a six-panel drug test lies in its ability to target a range of substances. Each panel can identify a different type of substance. While all drug test manufacturers have their own specifications, typical six-panel drug screens use a urine sample to look for substances like:

  • Crystal meth
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

What Drugs Can Show Up On a Drug Screen? 

While a six-panel urine drug test can detect a wide range of substances, it can’t detect all possible drugs. Drug tests range from simple 5 panel drug tests to as high as 25 panels—the more panels used, the wider range of substances that can be detected and with greater sensitivity. 

On a six-panel drug screen, synthetic cannabinoids, some designer drugs and prescription medications, and other substances outside the test’s parameters may not be detected. If you suspect (or know) that these other types of substances may be present, alerting healthcare professionals is crucial to ensure accurate testing. 

When Is a 6 Panel Drug Test Typically Ordered? 

A six-panel drug test is commonly ordered in various situations, such as part of an employment requirement, during court proceedings, or when entering treatment.

  • Workplaces: Many employers utilize this type of drug test as part of their pre-employment screening process or random drug testing policies to maintain a drug-free work environment. 
  • Legal proceedings: Courts and probation departments may require individuals to undergo a 6 panel drug test if drug abuse is suspected or to monitor compliance with legal rulings. 
  • Substance abuse treatment centers: Treatment facilities often administer this test to assess an individual’s substance use history and tailor treatment plans accordingly. 

If you or someone you know needs help quitting a substance, there is hope. Zinnia Health has treatment locations across the United States. Call (855) 430-9439 for more information about our unique treatment programs tailored to your specific journey.

What Should You Do to Prepare for a 6 Panel Drug Test? 

Preparing for a six-panel drug test involves understanding the types of drugs that could potentially be detected. Depending on the circumstances of your drug screen, you may be tempted to try various methods to dilute any substances in your body.

Staying hydrated is always a good thing, of course, but not simply for the sake of trying to outsmart a drug screen. In fact, it doesn’t work anyway. Always be honest with your primary physician—they have your health and best interests in mind.

So, if you’re on prescription medications, inform the testing facility with a list of all prescriptions, illicit substances, and any other medications—prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC), or herbal supplements—you take to ensure accurate interpretation of results.

Six-panel drug tests may detect a medication, mistake it for an illicit substance, and return a false positive. 

Substances known to produce false positive results can include:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Amphetamine salts (Adderall)

In some cases, even OTC herbal supplements can affect test results. For instance, naturopathy followers may take supplements with turmeric or add turmeric to the foods they eat.

Turmeric is a spice with anti-inflammatory and other medicinal benefits. But when drug screens detect the chemical in turmeric that’s responsible for these qualities, curcumin, false positives for marijuana can occur.

When Will You Receive Your Drug Test Results?

There’s no definite answer as to how long drug test results take. Result timelines depend on the person or entity requesting the drug screen, the facility performing the test, the type of test, and the specimen retrieval method. Typically, the results of a drug screen only take a few days.

However, some testing facilities use a rapid test that can offer results in just a few minutes. Other facilities may not have the capabilities to read test results and may send the drug screen to an independent lab to analyze.

Preparation, understanding the testing process, and seeking guidance afterward can help individuals make informed decisions and take appropriate actions based on the results. 

Are you ready to take a significant step toward managing your health and well-being? If you or a loved one needs help with a substance use disorder or maintaining sobriety, Zinnia Health can help. Call our 24/7 addiction treatment hotline at (855) 430-9439 to learn about our locations and treatment program options.

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