What Kinds Of Sophisticated Alcohol Tests Do Professionals Use?

If you have a loved one who is currently enrolled in an alcohol treatment program, then you may be concerned about whether or not your family member is able to use alcohol and hide that they are doing so. In the vast majority of cases, rehabilitation employees are well aware of the ways that individuals hide their alcohol abuse. Alcohol tests are used in many situations. Keep reading to learn about some facts about these tests that can help to determine whether an individual is abusing alcohol or not:

Tests Look For Ethyl Glucuronide

You may be familiar with the types of tests that help to establish your blood alcohol content. These tests are called breath alcohol tests and they measure the alcohol that is contained in the droplets of fluid that you exhale. The breathalyzers used are only capable of testing the amount of alcohol that is currently in your body. This means that the alcohol can only be detected for a little over five hours

It may be easy for someone to hide a small amount of alcohol consumption and not be asked to take a breath test. Due to this issue, many treatment centers will complete tests with the assistance of urine tests. Urine tests detect ethyl glucuronide. Ethyl glucuronide is a metabolite or byproduct that forms when the body breaks down ethanol. It can be detected in the urine for up three or four days after the alcohol is consumed. 

Hair Can Be Taken

If urine tests do not show any alcohol use for several days, then this may not mean that your loved one has been sober. If there are concerns about possible alcohol consumption, then the hair can be tested. This is something that commonly occurs when a history of drug use is considered. In particular, the hair can retain a much longer record of drug and alcohol use than the blood, saliva, or urine. 

When it comes to hair tests, the same metabolite, ethyl glucuronide, is detected. Both hair growth is considered and so it the concentration of the ethyl glucuronide metabolite found in hair strands. When it comes to hair testing, metabolites can be assessed for several months. While this is true it does take a few days after consuming alcohol for the metabolites to make their way into new hair growth. For this reason, hair testing is a better gauge of a long-term sobriety issue as opposed to one or two incidents of alcohol abuse.

Contact a company like Physical Exams Inc for more information and assistance.