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6 Different Types of Drug Testing

6 Different Types of Drug Testing

Drug testing refers to a screening that checks for the presence of both illicit and prescription drugs. There are many reasons why you may need a drug test. Many employers require drug screenings prior to employment, while other employers require annual physicals and routine drug testing. In addition to employment-related drug tests, you may need a test to participate in sports or for legal purposes after a work-related injury.

Here at Physicians Medical Urgent Care, we understand that there are many reasons why you may need a drug test and those reasons can shape the type of drug testing that you need. That’s why Dr. Ines Munoz De Laborde and Dr. Svetlana Burkhead offer both DOT and non-DOT drug testing in San Jose, California. Let's take a look at six different types of drug testing.

Rapid drug testing

As the name suggests, rapid drug tests provide rapid (instant) results. These are sometimes called POC, or point-of-care, testing since you receive your results where you’re being cared for. 

Rapid drug tests require a specimen (usually urine or saliva) and test for a variety of drugs.

Hair drug testing

Hair drug testing requires a clipped sample of hair (up to 120 strands) and can test for drug use in the previous 90 days. It’s often used to detect PCP, amphetamine, marijuana, opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Once we collect the hair sample, our team packages the strands of hair and sends them to the lab for testing.


A 5-panel drug test is one of the most common tests requested by employers and can use saliva, urine, or blood samples. Unless you need a DOT drug test, your 5-panel test is considered a non-DOT drug test.

This test looks for the presence of five drugs: marijuana/Cannabis (THC), cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). 


The 10-panel drug test detects five illicit drugs and five often-misused prescription drugs. While you can use blood or saliva for a 10-panel drug test, they are usually performed using a urine sample. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing

The Department of Transportation details all of the drug screening rules and procedures within Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40. Per the guidelines, all DOT drug tests use the same 5-panel test, but it must be done with a urine sample. The DOT drug tests look for the same five drugs in a normal 5-panel test.

DOT drug testing forms must be completed properly to satisfy all DOT requirements. As occupational medicine specialists, our team understands the specific requirements and provides the paperwork you need.

80-hour Ethyl Glucuronide (ETG) testing

The above drug screenings don’t screen for alcohol, so many employers often request alcohol tests along with drug testing.The 80-hour ethyl glucuronide (ETG) testing isn’t technically a drug screening. Rather, this test looks for recent alcohol consumption in your urine.  

Unlike other types of alcohol testing, ETG testing reveals detectable amounts of alcohol as soon as 2 hours after use and up to 80 hours past consumption. This test is often requested in situations where there is a zero alcohol policy in place.

Why drug testing matters

Whether you need a drug test prior to employment or to include in your workers’ compensation case, an accurate drug test is important. We know that sorting through these options can be confusing, but you’re never alone. Our expert team understands the rigorous standards set forth by various regulating agencies, and we’re here to make sure you get the right type of testing for your specific needs. 

To schedule your drug test, call 408-207-4637 to reach our San Jose, California, office. You can also use our online form to set up your appointment.

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