Can Alcohol Show Up In A Urine Test?

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Categories: Drug Testing News

Alcohol In A Urine Test

Alcohol testing unlike most drugs, has a much shorter detection window. A urine drug test can screen for ethanol, which is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, up to 12 hours. However, there are some types of urine tests that can identify alcohol byproducts for up 72 hours after the person’s last drink, but those tests can have significant limitations.

The vast majority of alcohol, about 90-95% is broken down by the liver. A small amount is expelled through someone’s breath and sweat. The remaining 1-2% is excreted in urine. Alcohol usually shows up in a someone’s urine within an hour of consuming alcohol and it remains detectable for up to 12 hours. However, the time frame can vary depending on different factors such as, weight, health, gender and the amount of alcohol consumed.

The alcohol in urine testing can sometimes be used to estimate a person’s blood alcohol content. The amount of urine alcohol is approximately 1.33 times more than the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. For more accuracy, at least two urine samples are usually collected 30 minutes to an hour apart.

Byproducts of Alcohol in Urine

Alcohol in a urine test does have a relatively short detection time, however certain byproducts remain in the body longer. One of these byproducts are EtG (ethyl glucuronide) can be detected in urine for up to 3 days after someone’s last drink. Another byproduct that some labs can test for is EtS (ethyl sulfate) which can signal for recent alcohol intake as well.

Both EtG and EtS tests can sometimes be used for court ordered, to see if people are complying with their probation requirements. Some rehab programs also use this test to monitor people in treatment and identify any potential relapses.

Even though EtG and EtS have longer detection windows, there are a few draw backs. The testing can be more costly and may not be widely available as a standard urine screening. It is currently unable to differentiate between ethanol from alcoholic beverages and exposure to alcohol from other products.

In some cases people who have taken over-the counter flu or cold medications and mouthwashes that contain alcohol may end up testing positive for EtG or EtS. Even typical use of other products that contain alcohol such as, body sprays, insecticides and hand sanitizer can sometimes result in a positive EtG/EtS test.

If you need to get a urine alcohol test done give us a call today at (800) 221-4291 or visit our website for more information at http://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com

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