Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which typically is not included in a standard drug screen but may show up on an expanded 12-panel screen if requested.

Drug testing is something that a person may undergo in several scenarios. A drug test may be requested while interviewing for a new job, randomly throughout employment, as part of medical treatment, or before or after a criminal conviction. 

Even though Suboxone is a prescription medication, there are reasons people could be concerned about it showing up on a drug test. It could be that they don’t want their employers to know they’re on a medication designed to help with opioid dependence.

Article at a Glance:

  • A 12-panel drug test may be used in connection with a criminal conviction, medical treatment or employment.
  • Yes, it is possible for suboxone to appear on a 12-panel drug test.
  • There are also five-panel, seven-panel and 10-panel drug tests administered in different circumstances.

Detection Times of Suboxone in Urine

A 12-panel urine test can screen for buprenorphine and methadone, which are both used in the treatment of heroin and opioid addiction. Buprenorphine, which shows up as “BUP” on a drug test, is the active opioid component contained in Suboxone, so it is possible for Suboxone to show up on a 12-panel drug test. There is usually a detection period for Suboxone on a 12-panel drug test, with The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT) stating that the drug can typically be detected for 7–10 days following the last use. 

Suboxone Drug Test Types

While Suboxone can show up on a 12-panel drug test, there may be variations depending on the specific type of test administered. Different organizations may also have varying cutoff levels for detection of certain substances.  

For example, buprenorphine may be added to 10-panel screenings with extended opioid testing. On standard drug testing panels, buprenorphine isn’t often tested for and has to be specifically included, and it won’t cause positive results for other opiates or opioids. For instance, if a test is screening for oxycodone, buprenorphine would not cause a positive test result for that substance.

Other Types of Drug Tests

There are several different types of drug screenings. The following are some of the most commonly used screenings:

  • Five-panel: The most standard type of drug screening is the five-panel test, which will screen for marijuana, opiates, PCP, cocaine and amphetamines. This is a cost-effective option for employers. 
  • Seven-panel: A seven-panel drug test is usually given to determine if an employee or individual is abusing prescription drugs. This is especially relevant in employment positions where alertness or operating vehicles or machinery is required. In most cases, a seven-panel test will screen for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and barbiturates.
  • Ten-panel: 10-panel drug tests are high-level and may be used in jobs related to law enforcement, or to ensure someone is keeping up with the terms of probation. 10-panel urine tests look for cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, barbiturates, propoxyphene and Quaaludes.
  • Twelve-panel: 12-panel drug tests are usually given in conjunction with a ten-panel test. A twelve-panel screening is designed to look for opiates in depth and prescription painkillers, as well as any other controlled substances. This type of drug test can include buprenorphine (Suboxone), as well as opiates, benzodiazepines, methadone, oxycodone and similar drugs.

See Also: Does alcohol show up on a drug test

If you are seeking treatment for an opiate addiction, The Recovery Village is one of the leading drug addiction treatment centers in the U.S. We approach the recovery process with knowledge and compassion. Call us or contact us to learn more about how to get into a treatment program, or how to help a loved one receive treatment for a substance use disorder.

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Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has over seven years working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioids.” Accessed June 17, 2020.

Harvard Medical School. “Treating opiate addiction, Part 1: De[…]nd maintenance.”  June 27, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2020.

Tomo Drug Testing. “What are the different panel drug tests?” November 4, 2015. Accessed June 17, 2020.

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment. “Does buprenorphine show up in an employer drug screening?” Accessed Jun

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.