12-Panel Drug Test

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12-Panel Drug Test

Are you curious about what shows up on a 12 panel drug test? Or perhaps, you are interested in knowing the 12 panel drug screen detection times. Then this guide is for you whether you are an employer, employee, or potential employee.

If you are an employer, you will find out the substances you are testing for with the 12-panel drug test, while you will find out why and for what you are being tested and how to prepare for and pass the test if you are an employee or potential employee.

detox shampoos for drug test

What is a drug screen panel?

There are no 12-panel drug tests without a drug panel. So, what is a drug panel? A drug panel is a set of drugs one wants to test. Usually, a number is attached to a drug panel, corresponding to the number of drugs one can test for with the panel.

For instance, the most common drug panels are 5, 10, and 12, even though drug panel manufacturing companies produce panels that can conduct 5 to 14 drug tests. Similarly, some drug panels can test for 25 drug types. Nevertheless, an organization or company will ordinarily settle for a 10 or 12-drug panel.

What is a 12 panel drug test? 

Employers conduct a 12-panel test to determine whether potential employees take illicit drugs or are involved in drug abuse before offering them jobs, especially safety-sensitive work opportunities. Similarly, government agencies can conduct this test for offenders or law violators. For example, a person who had his driver’s license seized or withdrawn for reckless driving may be required to take a 12-panel drug test before he gets it back.

A typical 12-panel drug test is used to detect an expanded opiate and amphetamine class in addition to the set of drugs a 10-panel drug test screens for in people. Thus, the drug test is perfect for pre-employment drug tests and random drug tests because it covers all the common street drugs. Likewise, employers who want a thorough or robust pre-employment drug test or screening prefer the 12-panel drug test because it gives them the best value for money.

The 12-panel drug test primarily uses a urine sample for screenings. However, laboratories are now adopting hair samples to test employees or people because it has become easy to tamper with a urine drug test or adulterate urine samples. After all, hair samples are better than urine samples because hair samples have a detention window of about 90 days, which is big enough to spot illicit drug users.

What does a 12 panel drug test test for?

Perhaps you are asking: what drugs are tested in a drug test? Below are the 12 kinds of drug that a 12-panel drug test screens for in people.

In addition, it is necessary to know that each of these substances' detection windows varies. Thus, you will find below the average detection window of these substances.


Detention window


2 Days


2 – 15 Days


2 – 10 Days


7 – 30 Days


2 – 3 Days


2 – 7 Days


10 – 15 Days


1 – 3 Days


8 Days


2 Days


Types of 12-panel drug test

The urinalysis drug test is the most familiar type of the 12-panel drug test. However, there exist another kind of hair drug test. Below, you will find the breakdown of these two test types.

  1. Urinalysis drug test

A 12-panel urinalysis drug test is an instant drug screening that uses urine samples. It involves visiting a medical clinic or drug testing center to provide a urine sample which is tested with a 12 panel drug test cup. This test is simple to administer as you only need to give a urine sample and read the results. The test is also 99% accurate, provided the urine sample has not been tampered with or adulterated.

The test cup is easy to use and convenient. It also has a shelf life of up to 24 months, so you can stock them up for at home drug test 12 panel screening whenever you like to have one. The test cup works on the lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay principle. This principle involves qualitatively detecting multiple drugs and drug metabolites in urine samples beyond specific cut-off concentrations.

Lastly, on a 12-panel urinalysis drug test, suppose you are interested in knowing how long it takes to get results. Then, you may be surprised to read that you can get your result in 5 minutes or less. Super fast, right?

  1. Hair drug test

Why would employers even think of hair tests? They have proven effective and continue to play vital roles in ensuring maximum security and safety at workplaces. Unlike providing urine samples in the urinalysis drug test, the test specialist cuts a sample of hair from the head of the person to be tested as close as possible to the scalp.

Suppose the person in question has no hair, then the test specialist can consider using the hair from the person’s legs or arms as deemed appropriate. After collecting the hair sample, the sample is screened for the substances on the hair drug test 12 panel. Thus, the hair test is a laboratory drug screen. Lastly, the primary advantage of this test is that it is more expensive, and you will have to wait longer for results because of the extensive laboratory analysis involved.

How to pass a 12 panel drug test

Whether you are a frequent or heavy drug user, take illegal drugs recreationally or do not take them at all, taking drug tests can be the scariest thing you can ever encounter. However, you need not worry because it is possible to pass a 12-panel drug test even if you are a frequent drug user. Nevertheless, it would help you if you realized that the best way to pass a 12-panel drug test is to abstain from drugs.

For example, finding one’s way around a 12-panel test that uses hair samples is not easy. It is difficult because the hair test has a prolonged detection window ( 7 – 90 days), unlike urine, blood, sweat, and mouth swab drug tests. However, there are detox shampoos in the market that you can use to wash your hair though it is not enough to pass the test.

Conversely, urinalysis tests are much easier to pass. For example, if you are used to marijuana or cannabis products, there are marijuana detox drinks you can use to flush out THC metabolites in your body. Similarly, there are other detox kits for other drug substances. However, you may find yourself dealing with some detrimental side effects, such as taking detox products. Nevertheless, detoxing is easy when you follow precise instructions for your choice of detox product.

Furthermore, you can try detox teas, pills, herbs, fruit pectin, cranberry juice, or supplements. However, you must be careful not to over-dilute your urine such that the laboratory specialist spots your manipulation. Other detox remedies include regular exercise, water, and dietary supplements. The tips listed below will also go a long way in helping you pass a urinalysis 12-panel drug test.

Frequently asked questions

Is it legal to demand12 panel drug tests in the U.S.?

Yes, it is. However, employees and potential employees are not obliged to take a drug test. Similarly, an employer is not obliged to accommodate any employee who uses illegal drugs while on duty.

How many substances do a 12-panel drug test screen for?

It tests for 12 different drug substances simultaneously with about 99% accuracy. These substances include marijuana, cocaine, propoxyphene, phencyclidine, barbiturates, tramadol, methadone, meperidine, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, amphetamines, and opiates/opioids.

How long does it take to get a test result?

It takes about 5 minutes or less to get results for a 12-panel urinalysis drug test. However, it takes longer with hair samples because of the extensive laboratory analysis involved.

Is the 12-panel drug test cup approved for home use?

Yes, because the cup is FDA-cleared and CLIA waived, it is simple to use with a low risk of erroneous results.

How fast is the effect of detox kits?

Detox kits begin to remove drug metabolites from your body as soon as you use them. In addition, they cannot be easily detected because they are flushed out of your body.

Wrap up

This article has revealed everything you need to know about a 12-panel drug test. Generally, 12-panel drug tests may be required for employee and random drug testing, probation, legal cases, custody, court-ordered testing, and divorce. However, employers usually drug test employees for accuracy in employment decisions and compliance with government regulations.

If you have been scheduled for a pre-employment drug test and are sure you haven’t taken illicit drugs recently, you need not worry about failing the 12-panel drug test. However, if you took illegal drugs recently or are a frequent drug user, you may have to consider using a detox to pass a drug test. Nevertheless, the best way to pass a 12-panel drug test remains to abstain from illicit drug use.

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