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5 Panel Drug Test Plus Expanded Opiates

The 5 panel drug test with expanded opiates screens for:

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Amphetamines (including methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, MDEA)
  • Expanded opiates (including heroin, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone)

This panel offers the same benefits of the traditional 5 panel drug test with the additional screening of opiates — a necessity, considering the current state of our country’s opioid epidemic.

About the 5 Panel Drug Test

5 panel drug tests have been around since workplace drug testing first started in the United States in the 1980s. It’s the most common panel in the U.S. and can be done with both a urine specimen and hair specimen. Urine drug testing is more common, but hair drug testing offers a few unique benefits.

For starters, it’s harder to cheat, since it must be conducted by a drug testing specialist. It’s also more accurate and has a longer detection window. This makes it a good choice if you want to be able to pick up on patterned drug use over time. Urine drug tests can’t do this.

Because of its increased accuracy, hair drug tests result in twice the number of positive test results, compared to urine drug tests.

Now, why should you make a point of ordering the 5 panel drug test with expanded opiates? Here’s what you need to know.

The Opioid Crisis

Testing for expanded opiates is needed now more than ever.

Preliminary data from 2017 presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all but confirmed what we already feared: the opioid crisis is getting worse. From 2016 to 2017, we experienced an estimated 6.6% increase in opioid overdoses — a new record. Furthermore, opioid overdoses in 2016 were five times higher than they were in 1999.

It’s so bad that in 2017, opioids killed more people than guns or car crashes did.

When opioids first entered the scene back in the 1990s, the medical community believed they didn’t have addictive properties. We were soon to find out we were sorely mistaken. Somewhere between 21% and 29% of patients who are prescribed opioids for their chronic pain will ultimately end up misusing them. Between 8% and 12% will develop an opioid use disorder. And 4% to 6% will start using heroin as a result. In fact, the relationship between the two drugs can’t be dismissed: 80% of people who use heroin started with taking prescription opioids.

The irony is obvious. A drug prescribed by doctors that’s supposed to help people has caused the worst addiction the United States has ever seen.

Why Employers Should Care About Opioid Abuse

Knowing the facts is good, but what does it have to do with employers, and why should they consider adding expanded opiates to their workplace drug testing?

For starters, drug abuse in general costs employers a startling $81 billion a year. Here’s why.

Diminished Productivity

Employers who are impaired on the job can’t perform their duties nearly as efficiently as they would otherwise. Lost productivity equates to lost revenue for employers.

Higher Rates of Absenteeism

Employees who abuse drugs miss more work than their sober counterparts. Again, this results in massively lost productivity.

Higher Employee Turnover Rates

Drug abuse that finds its way into the workplace often leads to greater employee turnover due to increased resignations and firings. Not only does this cost employers in terms of — you guessed it — lost productivity, but hiring and training new employees can cost employers thousands of dollars, depending on the role they’re trying to fill.

Workers Compensation Claims

Because drug abuse impairs an individual’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities properly, it’s not uncommon for drug use on the job to lead to accidents, which explains the spike in workers compensation claims.

Increased Insurance Coverage

Aside from workers compensation, employers are spending more money on treating opioid problems, period. An analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2004, the total amount paid for opioid addiction diagnoses for people enrolled in large employer plans was $273 million. By 2016, that number had jumped to $2,628 million — that’s $2,628,000,000.

It doesn’t even end there. This doesn’t get into the increased crime rates that happen because of drug abuse in the workplace, and the effect it has on other employees, who may feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and even threatened.

The Changing Marijuana Laws in the United States

There’s also the cannabis industry — and the effects it’s had on our legal system — to consider. With numerous states legalizing medicinal and even recreational marijuana use, employers are understandably getting confused about what their rights and their employees’ rights are.

The changes in these laws highlight the importance of having a reliable drug-free workplace policy and program. Furthermore, they remind us how necessary it is to test for marijuana in the workplace. Regardless of what your state laws say, should your place of business suffer negative consequences because an employee showed up to work impaired by marijuana, you are responsible for handling it appropriately.

How US Drug Test Centers Can Help

Handling the ins and outs of maintaining a drug-free workplace can understandably be overwhelming for employers. That’s why working with US Drug Test Centers can be beneficial in maintaining a safe and productive place of business. We can help you with:

  • Training your Designated Employer Representative (DER)
  • Creating your drug-free workplace policy, or improving the one you currently have
  • Ordering and conducting all drug tests
  • Getting all results reviewed and verified by a Medical Review Officer (MRO)

If your company must be compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT), we can help you as well. Because we stay up to date on their evolving laws and regulations, we will ensure your policy and program are always compliant with both the DOT as well as the individual agency you operate under.

Order a 5 panel drug test with expanded opiates today. If you don’t see the panel you’re looking for on our website, contact us and ask us about customizing a panel just for you.