If you’ve been ordered to take a 12-panel drug test, you might be concerned about failing. If you’ve used drugs recently, you’ll likely fail. Drugs like marijuana stay in your system for weeks, while most other types of drugs can show up on a drug test for days to weeks. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict whether or not you’ll fail a drug test unless you actually take one. Many pharmacies offer over-the-counter drug tests that can be used at home. These will provide you with an accurate result, and help you consider your options. 

What Does a 12 Panel Drug Test Test For?

A 12-panel drug test tests for active components in ten different substances, including; Marijuana, Cocaine, Codeine, Heroin, Amphetamines, PCP, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Methadone, Propoxyphene, Methaqualone, and MDMA.

The 12 in 12-panel drug test refers to the number of substances that the panel tests for. 12-panel drug tests are most commonly used, but ten or five-panel tests may also be used. These tests test on urine. Some other types of drug tests test on hair or salvia. 

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Reasons Why People Are Tested for Drugs

There are many reasons why someone might be tested for drugs. Drug testing is used widely amongst organizations and employers in order to detect if someone has used drugs within a recent window. The most common administrators of drug tests include employers, sports teams, legal purposes, and monitoring usage in a hospital or treatment facility. 


Employers use drug tests as a way to see if a candidate is worth hiring. Unfortunately, someone who’s on drugs is often seen as less-than. Employers don’t want to take the risk of hiring an addict. If you’re currently struggling with addiction and looking for employment, it’s important to get clean first. By seeking treatment beforehand, the job search will be much easier for you. 

Sports Teams and Organizations

Sporting organizations often test their athletes for drug use for two reasons. One, using drugs can greatly hinder one’s performance, especially if the drug is being smoked. And two, they have to monitor their athletes for performance-enhancing drugs like steroids. 

If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident or some other legal issue, you may be drug tested as a way for the insurance company to determine who was at fault for the accident. By proving that you were on drugs at the time of the crash (or other accident), they’ll be able to pin the fault of the accident on you more easily. 

Drug testing may also be used to monitor people post-accident. For example, if you recently received a DUI, you might be subject to ongoing drug testing to ensure that you’re no longer drinking before you operate a motor vehicle. This most frequently occurs in the form of an ignition interlock device, a device that requires you to take a breathalyzer before operating your vehicle. 

By Medical Professionals

Medical professionals may also order a drug test if they believe a patient is in the hospital to get prescription drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines. Because these drugs can be given by prescription, patients often fake symptoms in order to receive these drugs. When a doctor believes that a patient is attempting to get drugs, they might run a drug test on them first. However, this can be complicated in the instance where someone has been taking opioids for pain or benzos for panic and just really needs to a refill, or is having complications with their dosage. 

Monitoring Usage in Treatment 

Some outpatient treatment centers use drug testing as a way to monitor their patient’s progress. For example, some support groups use contingency management (CM), which allows patients to collect rewards when they have a negative drug test for multiple weeks in a row. Without drug testing, this type of therapy wouldn’t be as successful. 

Sober living communities and homes that enforce sobriety also drug test frequently to ensure that the people living there are staying away from drugs. If a positive drug test comes out, they know that a specific person living there might need some extra help staying sober. 

Can Zinc Help Me Pass My Drug Test?

When faced with a drug test, people often panic and try to think of ways to beat the system. You should never try to falsify your drug test, for many reasons, but more on that later. There’s a lot of conversation about whether or not certain substances help people bust drug tests, and zinc is one of them. Some studies believe that zinc interferes with the detection of some drug metabolites. These studies show success when zinc is mixed into the urine, creating a false negative. Researchers also found that it was hard to detect whether or not zinc was used as an adulterant, making it hard to get caught falsifying your drug tests. 

Why You Shouldn’t Falsify Your Drug Test

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t falsify your drug test, even if you really need to. For example, if you’re struggling to find work or you want to get out of a legal issue, you might feel tempted to change the result. However, it’s important to face your actions head-on. If you’re struggling with drug use, do something about it. Get sober before applying for jobs, and face the consequences of your actions. We know how hard it is to be an addict in today’s world, but we’re here to help. 

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What To Do If You Fail a Drug Test

Failing a 12-panel drug test can be a wake-up call, exactly the one that some people need. Because failing a drug test often means losing a job opportunity, a legal battle, or something else of importance, it can be the wake-up call that you’ve been waiting for. A failed drug test is a way of telling you to turn your life around. When you fail a drug test, think about enrolling in a treatment program at Asheville Recovery Center. To learn more about the programs we offer and how we can help you get sober to pass your next test, call us today.

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