All You Need to Know About Alcohol ETG Testing

EtG testing is a recently established form of alcohol evaluation that works differently from previous forms of  alcohol testing. Rather than testing a sample for levels of ethanol, an ETG test looks for the level of EtG in the body to reach its conclusion. EtG is a metabolite that remains in the body for a period of time after alcohol is consumed. By evaluating the level of EtG, the test is able to determine if there has been any alcohol consumption in the last 4-5 days (an improvement over the 9-12 hours that is standard with other forms of testing).

Alcohol ETG Testing

EtG is a clearer form of testing that evades some of the issues related to urine testing, which largely involve issues with ethanol fluctuation between collection and testing. People who are diabetic give urine samples which have higher levels of glucose and this can be a problem when it comes to testing because there is also a natural level of yeast in human urine. When these two ingredients work together they can increase the level of ethanol in the sample negating the sample’s viability for testing. The amount of ethanol in a urine sample can also be altered by time spent in a container allowing the fluid to evaporate. Using EtG instead of ethanol prevents this sort of fluctuation between collection and testing.

EtG is also able to detect alcohol use in people who aren’t habitual users. This method is able to detect alcohol in multiple body fluids and hair as well making it a much clearer method of evaluating alcohol consumption with more options for testing. Standard alcohol testing generally requires the person being tested to be a consistent enough drinker to detect the presence of alcohol while EtG testing can detect the presence of alcohol in even casual drinkers. This happens to also be one of the reasons that FDA and SAMHSA approval have been withheld pending further evaluation of the alcohol testing method and to establish a point at which the level of EtG in a sample should be considered a positive result. This is because some products such as hand sanitizers, which contain ethanol, as well as certain foods and inhaled ethanol can get a positive result from incidental exposure.

Due to the concerns about incidental exposure, positive results need to be backed up with a second test that verifies those results. This is especially true in any case that involves a court and a judge overseeing the matter. There are already plans in place to find the right level at which it is appropriate to consider a true positive on the test. Once this aspect of the EtG test has been established and it gains FDA approval, EtG stands to be a much improved and more consistent way of testing for alcohol use in employees. With its help, many businesses will be able to improve the way they run their business.

Lena Butler

My name is Lena Butler. I live in San Diego, California. I work as a customer service representative for TestCountry.com. I attended the University of San Diego and majored in marketing. I enjoy spending time at home, working on my painting and playing with my two pet rabbits, Carl and Lenny, when I am not here sharing interesting posts :)

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3 comments to All You Need to Know About Alcohol ETG Testing

  • Kara

    Thank you for this information and new testing option. My husband is on parole for attempting suicide while bing intoxicated (and having an undiagnosed psychological disorder), so one of his conditions is to not drink any alcohol. He tested poitive for having a large amount of alcohol in a urine test a couple weeks ago, just before he was diagnosed with diabetes. He hadn’t been drinking at all and this helps us to solve the problem and, hopefully, keep him out of prison.

  • Macy

    I am having a very hard time at my methadone clinic where I have been clean for 6 years. I am an insulin dependent diabetic who has had most of the last years UA’s come up alcohol positive. I don’t drink or use any mouthwash that has alcohol! I have had them put in a tablet that is supposed to distinguish the difference between diabetic alcohol and true consumption of alcohol. It is so frustrating when they look at you like you are lying. I am at the point of asking them to put me on Anabuse, (spelling?)to prove I am not a drinker.

    Thank you for the article. I plan on using this as part of my education for my defense.

  • Danielle Rae

    If I consumed one beer on Tuesday afternoon and am not a drinker at all do u think it will show up in a etg alcohol test by Friday ?

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