Different Types of Drug Tests

Health Street offers comprehensive drug screenings that your company can use to check job candidates as well as your employees for possible substance abuse. Performing regular drug screenings will help protect workers' health, ensure a drug-free workplace, and protect your company from liability issues. There are different types of tests available, and each has their merits. We offer urine drug tests, which are the most popular type of employment drug screening since these can test for many substances, and they are highly accurate and cost-effective. We also offer hair follicle drug screening and various kinds of alcohol testing.

Jared Rosenthal
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What Are the Types of Drug Tests?

The six basic drug screenings are urine, hair, saliva (oral), blood, perspiration (sweat) and breathalyzers. The most widely used are urine and hair tests, which are available with different numbers of panels that test for specific drugs.

Urine testing is highly accurate, affordable, easy to administer, and considered the standard within the industry. It can also detect the presence of virtually any type of drug. A hair follicle drug test detects drug use within 5 to 90 days, so it has a much wider window than the urine testing, which is typically about a week. That’s why we offer our clients these choices. Oral fluid (saliva) drug testing doesn’t test for as many different drugs. A blood drug test is costly and has a smaller window of detection — for most drugs, only up to three days after use. Of all testing methods, a blood drug screening is the most intrusive. Our wide range of tests satisfy the needs of our diverse clients.

What Are the Different Kinds of Urine Drug Tests?

The two types are immunoassay (IA) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). An IA test is faster and more cost effective, and the GC/MS is often used to confirm a positive IA test. Health Street uses both types to ensure accurate results.

Pre-employment drug testing is most frequently performed with a urine test. Of those, most employers will order the 5 panel basic test, as it detects the most abused drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, morphine, codeine, PCP, and amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin.

Our Highly Accurate Urine Drug Tests

At Health Street, urine tests are available in 5 panel to comprehensive 22 panel tests. The basic 5 panel test detects marijuana, cocaine, basic opiates (heroin, codeine, and morphine), amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust). Other tests check for prescription opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and other substances. We also offer DOT drug screenings, which comply with Department of Transportation regulations. Non-DOT businesses can order our DOT Mirror drug test, which matches current DOT testing requirements. Most of our clients use the 5, 10, or 12 panel urine test.

A urine drug test takes approximately one business day for negative results, and three to five business days to confirm non-negatives. We use highly reputable labs for drug test analysis, and these results are reviewed at a SAMHSA certified laboratory by a Medical Review Officer.

Hair Follicle Drug Tests for a Longer Detection Window

If your company requires a detection period that’s longer than one week, we recommend hair testing, which can detect substance use within the past 5 to 90 days. Sometimes it can even be much longer, depending on the person. Hair drug testing is used to identify chronic or binge drug use over a longer period of time. Many employers and courts are now favoring this testing method since it has a longer detection period. For this type of test, a sample of hair is taken from the person’s head, leg, chest, or armpit.

Choose from a basic 5 panel to a 17 panel test. We also have hair tests for alcohol, synthetic drugs, and specific drugs like fentanyl and ketamine. Basic hair follicle screenings, when negative, take about two to three days. The 9, 12, and 14 panels, and alcohol tests, take three to five days. Non-negative screenings require a few more days for confirmation.

Most companies use a standard 5, 10, or 12 panel drug test. The 7 panel drug test is also popular. For pre-employment testing, the basic 5 panel is often used.

5 Panel – Drugs detected include marijuana (including THC and cannabinoids), cocaine, basic opiates (heroin, codeine and morphine), PCP/angel dust, and amphetamines.
DOT/Non-DOT 7 Panel – This screening detects everything in the 5 panel but adds ecstasy and 6AM (6-Acetylmorphine). Traces of 6AM indicate recent heroin use.
10 Panel – In addition to checking for common street drugs, this screen adds commonly used opiates and Quaaludes.
12 Panel – This is the same as the 10 panel screen, but with prescription opiates like oxycodone plus ecstasy.

See more information about all the drug panels we offer and the detection times of various drugs.

StaffGlass Makes Pre-Employment and Employee Drug Testing Easy and Convenient

If your company currently has or is planning to create a drug-free workplace program, Health Street can help you set it up so that it runs smoothly. Our business clients use StaffGlass, which is our integrated recruitment and onboarding platform. From the web-based application, you can order and schedule any one of our drug testing services for a single candidate or employee, or set up random testing for your entire team.

StaffGlass features:

Integrated Recruitment and Onboarding

Our software combines remote ID verification, background checks, drug and alcohol screening, occupational health assessments, and e-sign document management into a single application. It operates from a central applicant/employee record for greater efficiency.

Easy scheduling and management of drug testing services

After you order screenings for your applicants or employees, they can choose a convenient time and location from our nationwide network of clinics. You receive status notifications at every step, and then test results are delivered securely to the dashboard. Our intuitive software streamlines the management of your drug testing, whether you need individual tests or to schedule periodic testing.

Cloud-based application for ease of use

There’s no software to install and learn. Everything is done from our mobile-friendly, easy-to-use dashboard.

Contact Health Street to learn more about our drug testing services and discover how we can help your company to manage your workplace drug testing.

How Drug Test Results Work

Properly administered drug tests start with an initial screening to rapidly identify negatives. If a drug screening shows that there are clearly no drugs in the system, the results are reported. However, because an initial screening is a blunt measurement, non-negative drug screens are then sent for highly sophisticated gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) testing. GC/MS confirmation testing confirms if the result is positive and, furthermore, identifies the specific drug within the class that is present in the specimen.


Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.


Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.


Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.


Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.