By Kristen Wakulchuk


The DOT 5 panel is the most common type of drug test available for employers. It is used not only by the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies but also by most nonregulated companies. It has also been called the NIDA 5 and the SAMSHA 5 for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration, respectively. 

Effective January 1, 2018, some changes were made to the basic premises of the 5-panel test. These included renaming one of the five categories – Opiates – to Opioids. Confirmation testing is required for a total of 14 drugs. 


DOT Drug Classifications 

The DOT’s five categories include: 

    1. Marijuana (THC) 
    2. Cocaine 
    3. Amphetamines: This includes confirmatory testing for amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and MDA. Initial testing for MDA was added on January 1, 2018, and testing for MDEA was removed. 
    4. Opioids: This includes confirmatory testing for codeine, morphine, and 6-AM (heroine). Added on January 1, 2018, were these semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. Some brand names for semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin ®, Percodan ®, Percocet ®, Vicodin ®, Lortab ®, Norco ®, Dilaudid ®, and Exalgo ®. 
    5. Phencyclidine (PCP) provides these further descriptions of some of the drugs included in DOT 5 panels: 

    • Marijuana is a cannabinoid. It may produce heightened sensory perception, euphoria, increased sociability, relaxation or increased appetite at lower doses. In higher doses, marijuana incites perceptual changes, panic and depersonalization, or feelings of distance and detachment from the environment. 
    • Cocaine is used in medicine as a topical anesthetic, particularly for the eyes, nose, ears and throat. It can become an addictive central nervous system stimulant. 
    • Like cocaine, amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants. They are clinically indicated to treat such conditions as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or as adjunctive treatment for severe depression or narcolepsy, a sleeping sickness. 
    • Opiates are drugs that bind some of the same receptors to which the body’s natural endorphins bind. They are used clinically to treat moderate to severe pain and several other conditions. They are drugs of abuse for their euphoric effects. 
    • PCP was invented as an anesthetic in the 1950s. The drug causes depersonalization, as well as numbness, lack of coordination and slurred speech. Users may also feel a sense of false strength or invincibility. 

Turn to Chane Solutions as your trusted source.

We can handle all your drug testing and employment screening needs. Since 2006, we have helped clients nationwide build safe working environments while staying compliant and minimizing costs. Contact us today to learn more. 

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