Drug Testing: Drugs That Do & Don’t Show Up On A Drug Test

Testing positive for a drug is something that people are worried about, especially active addicts because it could impact negatively on their job. Younger people will try to hide their drug use from school and parents. While drug testing may be frightening, there are limitations too, some drugs may not show up in the standard panel testing. These drugs are either not detectable using urine analysis because of the way they are metabolized by the body or their chemical composition, or the tests themselves are expensive and time-consuming.


Drug tests may be done in rehabilitation centers, sober communities, IOP, and halfway houses. There are several kinds of drug tests that use many different kinds of chemicals for testing. The common forms of drug tests are the urinalysis 5, 10, and the 15-panel tests. Many substances are used to alter the mind or create a “high” effect, and some of them may not be effectively tested through the standard panel. Some of the drugs, although do not feature in the standard panel, they may be detected when tested in labs, but this is usually pretty expensive and takes time. Where a person is suspected to be using a specific drug, a tester may take a sample to a laboratory facility to have it tested for the specific compound, this may not be so expensive.

5-Panel Drug Test

A standard drug test consists of five substances and seems the choice for many employers, schools, and parents concerned about their children. The 5-panel test screens for opiates, cocaine, marijuana, phencyclidine or PCP, and amphetamines/methamphetamines. The term “panel” is used in drug screening to refer to a substance or family of drugs that are to be tested. For example, when a tester wants to test for the panel “opiates”, it will consist of heroin, codeine, and morphine. The panel list may depend on what you want to test and it can be any number, commonly ranging from 5-panel to 8-panel, to 20-panel tests.

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10-Panel Drug Test

The 10-panel urinalysis features ten substances. It is slightly more expensive because of the number of drugs or substances being tested. A tester will detect substances like:

  • Cocaine

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Amphetamines such as Adderall

  • Buprenorphine such as Subutex or Suboxone

  • Barbiturates

  • Methodane

  • Methamphetamines

  • Opiates such as morphine and heroin

  • Oxycodone

  • Marijuana

15- Panel Test

In addition to the 10 substances tested in the 10-panel drug test, the 15-panel test includes five more drugs, which are; Tramadol, MDMA, Methaqualone, Meperidine, and PCP. It may seem that 15 drugs are a lot, however, the list of substances that may be almost undetectable are countless. Alcohol may be included in the 15-panel test, but the tester uses a breathalyzer because urine tests for alcohol have a tendency of having a false positive, so they may not be so effective.

What Drugs Won’t Show Up on Common Panel Tests

Some drugs may not be included in the panel drug screening and they include:


When you look at most panel drug tests, you find that psychedelics aren’t included because they tend to be extremely difficult to detect. They won’t be included on the list of urinalysis instant tests. Psychedelics are also referred to as serotonergic hallucinogens and they fall under the class psychoactive drugs or substances that alter the mood, perception, and cognitive processes in a person’s body. These drugs include psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, peyote, and mescaline. Hair follicle tests can help detect some of the substances, however, it may be time consuming and expensive. Psychedelic drugs can severely impair a person.

While LSD isn’t included in drug tests, it may be detected using more stringent urinary analysis. The problem is that it may only be detectable in a person’s urine sample for 1 to 4 days following the last shot. Psilocybin or mushrooms have a detection window of 1 to 3 days following the last use.

Designer drugs

The commonly used drugs to help beat drug tests are research chemicals, also referred to as designer drugs. These drugs are common with people who are on probation and in sober communities. The number of research chemicals is infinite and more are being created every year. Research chemicals are found in “spice,” “bath salts,” “U-47700,” “Flakka,” and “K2”, and the reason they are called designer drugs is that they are constantly being improved or changed and tend to mimic many other substances. While very cheap, these drugs also offer a very powerful “high.”

Since there are hundreds of designer drugs, it is extremely expensive to try putting them on common panel drug tests. Again, because they are extremely addictive, with time, they may begin to feature in tests when it is suspected that a person is abusing them.

Some rehab centers may order lab tests to screen a suspected designer drug. Testers who want to test individuals of these designer drugs look for a specific drug or drugs and the sample is taken to a lab. Some labs don’t even test for all the designer drugs. In addition, it may not be possible to find out the drug that an individual is using and whether or not, it is formally illegal. Another problem is that many of these substances are unregulated, you may find them being sold in gas stations and head shops.

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You will most likely not find Kratom included in drug tests because it is a fairly new drug. Kratom is a plant having effects that resemble those of opioids. You may find it in sober communities and it is used by people who want to seek a “high” similar to that of opioids while also trying to beat drug screening. Kratom is legal in many states, it is found being sold in convenience stores and head shops. That said, if it is suspected that a person is abusing the drug, a laboratory test may be done, but it takes a lot of time. When you suspect an individual to be on Kratom, you may want to look for opioid “high” signs such as decreased motor skills, constricted pupils, nodding, and mumbling.

What to Do If a Person is Abusing Drugs

In the event that a person you know is abusing drugs, you need to talk to them. They may deny that they are using drugs, so you may consider doing a drug test to find out the results. They may test positive or negative for the drugs, and if it is found they are on drugs, then professional help can be sought. Don’t let your loved one continue struggling with addiction, talk to us at Chapters Capistrano Rehab Center. We can help with your drug addiction situation and allow you to find healing, hope, and comfort.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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