What is a 15-panel Drug Test?
A 15-panel drug test is an exhaustive drug screen covering an array of illicit substances and prescription medications and their derivative compound subclasses including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana, Meperidine, methadone, Methaqualone, Nalbuphine, opiates, Oxycodone/Oxymorphone, Pentazocine, phencyclidine (PCP), and propoxyphene. Employers may apply a 15-panel drug test through a customizable kit designed to identify specific drug metabolites outside the traditional 5-panel drug testing parameters for hiring and reinstating purposes.
Drug testing policies serve as an autonomous measure for employers to adopt and follow against the mounting dilemma of a workforce facing substance abuse issues. A 15-panel drug test involves collecting a urine specimen (in most cases) to isolate specific drug metabolite(s) that might be present in the system of a potential candidate for a job or an employee with suspected substance abuse problems.
Depending on the industry, employers may request a 15-panel drug test under different circumstances including pre-employment testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and post-accident testing, with each subcategory reflecting caveats to determine job candidacy. However, individuals can encounter discrepancies over the legitimacy of taking prescribed medication, for example, opiates for alleviating pain, in which the substance in question is above the cutoff threshold and the level of use may suggest increased or high doses of opioid use. For this reason, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) reviews the confirmation result and compares this to the prescription to confirm that the candidate is not abusing a prescription or taking it illicitly.
A health and safety policy that incorporates a 15-panel drug test on an as-needed-basis can help modulate the overall number of substance abuse cases from compromising the workforce.