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Urine Drug Testing

The Most Common Pre-Employment Drug Testing Option

Most employers who have implemented drug screening processes opt for urine drug tests— and for good reason.

Benefits of Urine Drug Tests

  • DOT-approved
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Reliable
  • Can provide instant (negative) results
  • Can detect recent drug use (within 4-72 hours)
  • Trusted and utilized for years

To meet most general screening needs, we would recommend urine testing over hair, saliva, or blood drug testing.

urine drug test specialist holding collection cup

Common Questions

This largely depends on the drug testing panel you choose. Here is a general overview:

5-Panel: This panel typically tests for THC, Opiates, PCP, Cocaine, and Amphetamines.

7-Panel: This panel typically looks for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, & barbiturates.

10-Panel: The standard 10-panel drug test tests for marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates (codeine, morphine & heroin), cocaine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, & methaqualone (Quaaludes).

12-Panel: These tests often screen for the same substances as the 10-panel with the addition of oxycodone and MDMA.

The presence of THC metabolites in the urine largely depends on levels and frequency of past consumption. Here is a general estimate based on clinical proceedings:

  • Single use: 3 days
  • Moderate use (several times per week): 5-7 days
  • Chronic use (daily): 10-15 days
  • Chronic heavy use: 30+ days

In many cases, drug test results can be read and reported after just minutes (if there are no drugs present in the sample, and the candidate is able to provide a sample). If the sample reads positive, it will be sent to a lab for further testing. An MRO will then review the results and verify any applicable prescriptions with the candidate. This process, from start to finish, usually takes around 3 business days.

Peopletrail partners with a network of nearly 10,000 clinics nationwide. We will find the best-suited location nearest to the candidate’s home or workplace. If the candidate needs to change their collection location, we can provide them with another clinic upon request.

The vast majority of drug tests we facilitate are non-observed.

A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a medical doctor who reviews lab-confirmed positive drug test results and verifies prescriptions with the sample doner.

It is very difficult to get away with providing a false sample. 

Urine drug tests are temperature sensitive, meaning the sample has to meet very specific temperature requirements upon collection. If the sample is too warm or too cold, the drug test collector will call for a retest.


Urine tests are widely utilized by employers for pre and post-hire needs. Additionally, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other federal agencies require urine tests for specific employee positions. They are quick, reliable, and cost-effective when compared to other sample types.

You can get more answers to common drug testing questions here.