The term NIDA-5 refers to a five-panel drug test specified by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. You might also hear it called the SAMHSA-5 drug test. This test is compulsory for federal employees and companies that use professional drivers for safety-sensitive operations. Although other companies don´t need to follow the NIDA-5 standard, it´s still the most common urine drug test.
What Does the NIDA-5 Test For?
NIDA-5 specifies five drug groups that need to be tested for:
- THC (marijuana)
- Opiates (namely codeine, morphine and heroin)
This group of drugs was specified decades ago based on the prevalent drug use at the time. Although many prescription drugs, such as ADHD medications, will be detected in a NIDA-5 test, many others will not.
What about Other Drugs?
An official NIDA-5 test is only allowed to report on the five drugs above. Any other drugs, such as heavy-duty opioid painkillers like OxyContin, are ignored even though they are commonly abused.
Many people argue that the NIDA-5 doesn´t reflect the reality of modern recreational drug use. In response, many labs started offering expanded tests to cover a wider range of drugs by adding detection for:
- Opioids (such as OxyContin and Vicodin)
- Benzodiazepines (such as Valium)
- Other street drugs like meth and ecstasy
Unlike with the NIDA-5 tests, there´s no standard for expanded tests, so their exact nature varies between labs. If you ever need to take an expanded test, do some research and see what they will test for.
Passing a NIDA-5 Drug Test
The NIDA-5 doesn´t test for a wide range of prescription drugs, so many drug users will pass without ever having to worry about it. If you have been using one of the five mentioned drugs, though, you might need to take some precautions before going to a drug test. There are a number of options available.
Quit and Wait
You can quit using drugs and wait for your body to clean itself naturally, but this can take some time. Weed is especially hard to get out of the system, particularly if you´ve been a heavy user. Investing in a two-step detox program can help you detox in the long term while still providing a safety net in the form of an emergency detox solution.
Use Substitute Urine
You can avoid detection by just providing someone else´s urine as if it was your own. Of course, you need to find someone willing to give you a sample, and he or she needs to be 100% clean.
Subbing a urine sample usually isn't easy.
Use an Emergency Detox
Emergency detoxes work by flushing toxins from your urinary system, so you´ll have relatively clean urine for just a few hours. They usually come in the form of detox drinks or detox pills, and you need to use them an hour or two before your test.
If you carefully follow the instructions, you´ll be able to give a urine sample as normal without failing a NIDA-5 test.