DOT Drug Test Panel: Which Substances Are Tested?

Dot Drug Test Panel

Truckers and trucking companies have to meet the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug testing requirements.

To stay compliant, safety-sensitive employees or cdl drivers must regularly undergo a DOT drug testing panel. The 5-panel drug test is the most popular and can be conducted at Consortium Pool.

Federal testing agencies and private drug and alcohol testing programs use this test in their substance abuse checks on safety-sensitive individuals. Test subjects submit urine samples during the drug test.

Which substances does the DOT drug test panel check? Let’s look at each below:


Marijuana is the substance that shows up most frequently in a DOT drug test.

The federal government classifies it as a Schedule One drug. According to the 49 CFR Part 40, all 5-panel drug tests include testing for THC regardless of its legality in a state. Many marijuana users abuse other drugs.

The DOT strictly prohibits the use of marijuana for safety-sensitive employees, including truck drivers and anyone else in safety-sensitive positions. Drivers who fail the drug test or fail to submit their urine for a test can face disciplinary consequences. Trucking companies have the right to penalize THC detection in DOT drug tests.

With millions of recreational cannabis users in the country, trucking companies must carry out routine DOT 5-panel drug tests to ensure adherence by drivers. A standard DOT 5-panel drug test can detect marijuana metabolites.

We recommend random drug testing following Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations to prevent drug test evasion and obtain more reliable test results.


Cocaine (also known as coke) is a powerful stimulant. It shows up frequently in urine drug tests.

Since the substance has a high abuse and addiction potential, the federal government classifies it as a Schedule Two drug. DOT panel drug tests check for habitual use of cocaine because psychological dependence on it is highly dangerous.

The Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Transit Administration, U.S Coast Guard, and similar organizations strictly prohibit the operation of vehicles or vessels under the influence of cocaine. People working in these industries must undergo regular drug testing following DOT regulations.

An initial panel drug test may not be conclusive due to cocaine’s short half-life. For that reason, many companies order confirmation testing a few days after initial testing. Multiple urine tests are even more important in the transportation sector.

Some trucking employers order special drug testing for cocaine outside of DOT drug tests, especially for those working in known hot zones. These tests involve laboratory testing procedures that utilize multiple sample types.


Amphetamine is a Schedule Two drug that comes in pill forms. Users crush them for snorting and may mix in other substances to increase potency.

Users rely on amphetamines to remain focused and stay alert and awake for longer periods.

Some examples of prescription amphetamines include Dexedrine, Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin, Methylin, Focalin, and more. While it’s illegal to use these drugs for recreational purposes, drug testing results often pick them up.

Methamphetamine (also known as meth) is an exceptionally dangerous and addictive form of amphetamine. Health and safety bodies design drug tests to detect it.

Continuous amphetamine use damages the dopamine receptors, eroding the individual’s ability to feel pleasure. The U.S. Coast Guard makes regular meth busts each year.

The dot testing will also detect the usage of 3- and 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). This drug is a synthetic substance, popularly known as Molly or Ecstasy.

Employers of safety-sensitive workers who fail a meth test or amphetamines must replace them quickly.


Opiates are a product of the opium poppy plant. Users inject, smoke, or snort them to increase euphoria and reduce pain. Examples of opiates detected by a DOT drug test panel are heroin, Vicodin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and more.

Some of these drugs include expanded opiates or opioids. They are among the most commonly abused drugs.

Heroin is at the heart of the fight against drug use in various parts of the world. Regular testing is crucial to make sure safety-sensitive employees never use it.

Some opiates are useful in medical facilities. Codeine and morphine are examples of opiates that may show up in a urine panel test for people dealing with certain health concerns.

Phencyclidine (PCP)

PCP (also known as angel dust) is an animal tranquilizer that causes dangerous hallucinations.

Persistent abuse of Phencyclidine (PCP) often leads to schizophrenia. Due to the effects of PCP, drug testing for the substance is often a confirmation test. Users display highly erratic behavior, as seen with users of synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids and drugs, forcing employers to order urine tests.

Waiting for the signs of PCP to show before ordering a urine panel test may be dangerous. Frequent testing can avert safety concerns.

The Advantages of DOT Drug Testing

Some benefits of subjecting truck drivers to regular drug testing include the following:

  • Reduction of accidents and work-related injuries
  • Increased productivity and safety
  • Avoidance of losses incurred directly or indirectly by addicted employees
  • Reduction in company liability and costs
  • Improved regulatory compliance

Trucking companies must conduct regular, planned, and random DOT drug panel testing to ensure the safety of drivers and the general public. Employees who know they will be drug tested at intervals are significantly less likely to abuse drugs.

With regular drug testing, such companies will continue to contribute toward reducing the number of addicts in their local environment.

Sign Up for DOT Drug Panel and Alcohol Testing Today

Consortium Pool offers a wide range of affordable DOT drug and alcohol consortium programs. Whether you’re looking to implement a regular DOT 5 panel drug test schedule or train your medical review officer, we can help.

We have the systems in place to complete the panel drug test without causing downtime. We communicate the results of the drug testing in an easily digestible format.

Call us today at (866) 312-9522 or contact us to schedule a DOT drug test panel appointment.