Do employment drug tests test for benzos?

Employment drug testing has become a common practice in many companies and organizations. It is used as a means to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace, as well as to comply with federal regulations. While most people are aware of the standard drugs that are tested for, such as marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines, there is often confusion about whether employment drug tests also test for benzodiazepines (benzos).

Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos”, are a class of psychoactive drugs that are commonly prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and other medical conditions. Some of the most well-known benzos include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. These drugs work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps to calm the brain and nervous system.

While benzos are generally considered safe and effective when used as prescribed, they can also be misused and abused. This has led to an increase in their presence in workplace drug tests. However, not all employment drug tests include benzos in their standard panel of drugs.

Types of Employment Drug Tests

There are several types of employment drug tests, each with its own purpose and detection window. The most common types of employment drug tests include urine, hair, saliva, and blood tests.

Urine tests are the most commonly used method for employment drug testing. They are relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, and can detect a wide range of drugs. Urine tests can detect benzos for up to 7 days after use, depending on the specific drug and frequency of use.

Hair tests are another common method of employment drug testing. They have a longer detection window compared to urine tests, as they can detect drug use for up to 90 days. However, hair tests are more expensive and require a larger sample, making them less practical for routine employment drug testing.

Saliva tests are becoming more popular due to their ease of use and quick results. They can detect benzos for up to 2-3 days after use, making them useful for detecting recent drug use.

Blood tests are the most accurate method of drug testing, but they are also the most invasive and expensive. They can detect benzos for up to 48 hours after use.

Do Employment Drug Tests Test for Benzos?

The short answer is that it depends on the specific drug test being used. Most standard employment drug tests do not include benzos in their panel of drugs. However, some employers may choose to include benzos in their drug testing protocol, especially if the job involves safety-sensitive tasks or the use of heavy machinery.

The most commonly used drug test for employment purposes is the 5-panel urine test, which tests for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP. This test does not include benzos in its panel of drugs. However, some employers may opt for a 10-panel urine test, which includes additional drugs such as barbiturates, methadone, and benzodiazepines.

It is important to note that while benzos may not be included in the standard panel of drugs for employment drug tests, they can still be detected if the employer specifically requests for them to be tested. This is more common in industries where the use of benzos can pose a safety risk, such as transportation or healthcare.

False Positives and False Negatives

One concern with employment drug testing is the possibility of false positives or false negatives. False positives occur when a drug test shows a positive result for a drug that was not actually used. This can happen due to cross-reactivity with other substances or medications. False negatives, on the other hand, occur when a drug test shows a negative result for a drug that was actually used.

Benzos can sometimes cause false positives on drug tests, especially for certain types of benzos. For example, some urine tests may show a positive result for benzos if the person has taken certain antidepressants or antihistamines. This is why it is important to disclose any medications or supplements being taken before a drug test.

In rare cases, benzos may also cause false negatives on drug tests. This can happen if the person has only used a small amount of the drug or if the test is not sensitive enough to detect it.


In conclusion, employment drug tests may or may not test for benzos, depending on the specific test being used and the employer’s preferences. It is always best to disclose any medications or supplements being taken before a drug test to avoid any potential issues. If you are concerned about the presence of benzos in your system, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking a drug test.

Do employment drug tests test for benzos?

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