Substance Use

7 Panel Drug Test: What Drugs Does it Detect?

drug screen results form with pills needle spoon

Table of Contents

Get Help Now

check insurance
Check your insurance by using our Online Form
call us
Talk to someone now.
Call (855) 430-9439

7-Panel Drug Test: What to Expect

A 7-panel drug test screens for traces of the following substances in your urine:

  • Cocaine and its metabolites
  • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital
  • Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium
  • Phencyclidine, also known as PCP or Angel Dust
  • Opiates and opioids, such as codeine, morphine, methadone, heroin, MDMA, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other prescription drugs
  • Marijuana, its metabolites, cannabinoids, and other components, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Amphetamine- and methamphetamine-based stimulants, such as Adderall, as well as illicit substances like crystal meth

Knowing you must submit to a urine drug test—especially if you use any illicit substances—can be scary. Even if you don’t use drugs or alcohol, someone asking for a sample of your urine can still be confusing and stressful. Someone who’s never taken a drug test before isn’t entirely sure what the process entails, so they have no idea what to expect.

For those looking for a fresh start in recovery, knowing how drug screenings work and what they look for is just part of the process in your journey to sobriety. The 7-panel drug test is a common screening tool, and Zinnia Health is here to demystify it. If you need information or have any questions, you can call us at (855) 430-9439 24 hours/day, every day.

Call us
Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
Why call us? Why call us

What’s the Process for a 7-Panel Drug Test?

A 7-panel drug test is a specialized drug screening tool used to detect seven specific types of drugs in a urine specimen. Unlike broader, 25-panel screenings, this test targets highly specific substances, allowing for a more focused approach.

Your current employer may require random testing or, if you’re looking for a new position, potential employers may require a clean drug test as a condition of employment. 

7-Panel Drug Test Step-by-Step

If you’ve never had to submit to a drug test before, here’s how the process works.


  1. Arrive at the testing site.
  2. Report to the reception desk.
  3. Fill out any paperwork requested.
  4. Find a seat in reception and wait for the nurse to call your name.

In the Provider’s Office

  1. When you’re called back, the healthcare provider will give you a sterile plastic cup with a tamper-evident seal.
  2. Take the sealed cup into the restroom.

In the Provider’s Restroom

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
  2. If the provider gave you a pen, write your first and last name legibly on the cup.
  3. Carefully break the tamper-evident seal and set the cup on a clean surface.
  4. Set the cup’s lid next to the cup, top down.
  5. If germicidal wipes are available, use one to clean your genital area.
  6. Sit down on the toilet and hold the cup where it will catch your urine.
  7. Capture half an inch or so of urine in the cup (the provider needs enough to perform the test, but you don’t need to fill the cup).
  8. Place the lid on the cup and seal tightly.
  9. Leave the cup where the provider asked you to (which may be inside a small, two-way cabinet in the wall known as a pass-through specimen cabinet).

What Happens After a 7-Panel Drug Test?

Once your urine is collected, the cup is sent to a laboratory where experts analyze the contents to detect the presence (or absence) of specific substances, resulting in positive or negative results.

The entire process remains confidential, and your test results are handled with utmost care and privacy.

If you’re on a pain management plan with your primary physician, you can be subject to random drug testing to ensure the substance prescribed by your doctor is in your system at the level it should be. Reach out to Zinnia Health on our addiction hotline at (855) 430-9439 with any questions.

What Drugs Does a 7-Panel Drug Test Screen For?

The 7-panel drug test screens for the following seven substances:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates/opioids
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates

These drugs are among those most commonly screened for because of their abuse potential and the risks associated with misuse.

What Other Drugs Might Show Up on a 7-Panel Drug Screen?

While the 7-panel drug test primarily targets those drugs listed above, other substances might also show up. Certain medications, supplements, or over-the-counter products might produce chemical markers that resemble the substances being tested for.

For example, poppy seeds contain opium, and certain cold medications, such as cough syrup, contain dextromethorphan. Both of these substances, while not illicit in a muffin or cold medicine, may lead to false positives for opiates.

That’s why it’s vital to inform the person administering your drug screen of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you may be taking. Full disclosure helps ensure you receive accurate results.

When Is a 7-Panel Drug Test Typically Ordered?

The 7-panel drug test has various uses. This type of drug screen might take place as part of:

  • Rehabilitation programs: In recovery centers, these diagnostic tests help monitor a patient’s progress, how well they’re adhering to their treatment plan, and if they’re refraining from drug use.
  • Pre-employment screening: Many employers screen interviewees before extending a job offer to ensure a safe and responsible workplace.
  • Legal obligations: Court-ordered drug tests may be a part of probation for a drug violation or during custody proceedings.
  • Medical evaluations: Sometimes, healthcare providers use the 7-panel test to diagnose or monitor specific health conditions, such as if an individual is admitted in the emergency room for suspected overdose.

Understanding the reason behind the test can ease your anxiety and help you better prepare for it.

How to Prepare for a 7-Panel Drug Test

Preparing for a 7-panel drug test is usually straightforward, but it helps to be aware of a few key items:

  • Know what the healthcare provider is testing for.
  • Report all medications you currently take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, certain foods, and herbal supplements.
  • Keep yourself hydrated with your typical amount of water intake.
  • Try not to let the process stress you out needlessly. 

How Long Does It Take to Get the Results of a 7-Panel Drug Test?

Typically, the results from a 7-panel drug test are available within 2-4 days, but this turnaround time can vary depending on a number of factors, including the lab, location, and reason for the test. Urgent requests may be processed more quickly, like if a judge requires the results to make a final custody judgement, while some results may take longer.

Don’t be shy to ask questions. If there’s any additional information you need, such as when and how you should expect to receive the results from your urine sample, such as in person, through the postal service, by phone, or through email, ask the provider.

What To Do After You Take Your Drug Test

Once you’ve completed the test, return to your usual daily routine and responsibilities, whether that’s in recovery, at your job, at home with your family and friends. 

Most of all:

  • While it’s nerve-wracking, remember: patience is a virtue and worrying doesn’t speed things up or change the outcome.
  • Whatever commitments or obligations you have, stay engaged.
  • Build a tight-knit support group so when you’re feeling anxious, you have a close friend, loved one, or licensed counselor to speak with.

Zinnia Health and You: Healing for Good

The ultimate goal of a drug test is to support your well-being and that of those around you who depend on you, whether it’s a part of your recovery journey or another area of your life entirely. Stay informed, ask questions if you have them, and trust in the process.

You’re never alone in this journey. Zinnia Health is here to help, and our support is always available, night or day, at (855) 430-9439.

Call us
Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
Why call us? Why call us