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Alcohol ETG Urine Testing Resources

Alcoholism is a very serious problem. In the WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are about 2 billion people worldwide who consume alcoholic beverages and 76.3 million with diagnosable alcohol use disorders. In the US alone, about 18 million people abuse alcohol, and estimates suggest that more than 70 million Americans have dealt with alcoholism in their family.

The statistics, facts, and cases presented in various books and other references about alcoholism and alcohol addiction are generally hard to ignore. As a result, the demand for alcohol screening in the workplace, schools, rehabilitation facilities, government units, law enforcement, and other venues has grown increasingly in the recent years.

Although alcohol consumption can already be detected in blood, saliva, hair, and breath; urine test remains to be the most common and preferred method in detecting recent alcohol consumption. This page will guide you with the things you need to know about alcohol urine testing, specifically in detecting Ethanol glucuronide (ETG), a direct metabolite of alcohol.

What is ETG?

ETG stands for Ethanol Glucuronide. It is a direct metabolite of alcohol (ethanol) with a long urinary elimination time. Its presence in the urine or saliva may be used to detect the recent ethanol ingestion even after the ethanol alcohol itself is no longer detectable. The presence of ETG in urine or saliva is a definitive indicator that alcohol was ingested.

How is ETG different from ETS?

ETS or Ethyl Sulfate is also a direct metabolite of alcohol. As ETG testing becomes widely popular in the US, some laboratories have also begun to test for ETS. While ETG can be detected in urine for up to 80 hours, published references indicates that ETS is generally detectable for up to 24 hours after use. Both ETG and ETS are usually measured in urine, and may become positive shortly after even low-level exposure to alcohol and may remain detectable in urine for several days.

How is ETG detected and why is ETG alcohol testing helpful?

Through ETG alcohol testing, Ethanol Glucuronide can be detected in the urine for up to 3-5 days following consumption of alcohol. ETG tests are extremely useful for the assessment of people younger than the legal drinking age, as well as people under supervision of the criminal justice system when alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited. read more..

What is an alcohol ETG test and who uses urine alcohol tests?

The ETG test for alcohol is designed to detect the presence of ethyl glucuronide in the urine. It may be used for patients who are required to abstain from alcohol use, such as probation of convicted drunk drivers, addiction treatment, post mortem or accidental investigation, to name a few.

How accurate and reliable is the alcohol ETG test?

The ETG alcohol detection test is based on the principle of alcohol biomarkers, which are only produced due to alcohol metabolism. The ETG cannot be masked by any illnesses, for example, urinary tract infections or diabetes as any false positives are eliminated in the detection process.

How long does ETG stay in the body?

ETG in urine is only detected when ethanol (alcohol) is ingested. While ethanol is eliminated rapidly, ethyl glucuronide (ETG) is detectable for up to 80 hours after the elimination of ethanol from the body. ETG has found wide acceptance in the detection of relapse in recovering alcoholics, monitoring of medical professionals, and detection in postmortem specimens.

What is the cut-off level for ETG testing?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the cutoff value selected to distinguish specimens as positive or negative should consider the base rate of problem drinking in the population being evaluated, the individual's likely exposure to products containing nonbeverage alcohol, and the consequences for the individual and society of the individual's being erroneously labeled. Establishing a reliable cutoff with high positive predictive value requires research in the population and discussion of the various contexts in which the test might be applied.

What is the window of detection for ETG testing?

ETG tests are likely to detect that alcohol was ingested within the past 3 or 4 days. The detection time of alcohol in urine drug tests can be as long as 80 hours.

ETG Urine Alcohol Test Terminologies

To help you fully understand the concept of ETG urine alcohol test, we have prepared the list of terms that are frequently mentioned in literatures that discuss urine alcohol test:

ALCOHOLISM - is a chronic, often progressive disease in which a person craves alcohol and drinks despite repeated alcohol related problems. It is characterized by craving alcohol and losing control over drinking, along with a physical dependence and a tolerance for alcohol.

ETG - refers to Ethyl glucuronide, a direct metabolite of alcohol. It's presence in the urine indicates may be used to detect recent use of ethanol, even after ethanol is no longer measurable.

ETHANOL - is a major ingredient of alcoholic beverages. It is also called ethyl alcohol and grain alcohol.

ETS - refers to Ethyl Sulfate, an organic chemical compound used as intermediate in the production of ethanol from ethylene. Aside from ETG (Ethyl glucuronide), ETS (ethyl sulfate) is another direct biomarker of ethanol, and both are used in detecting recent consumption of alcohol.

ALCOHOL BIOMARKERS - are physiological indicators of alcohol exposure or ingestion and may reflect the presence of an alcohol use disorder. Most readily measurable biomarkers are indirectly correlated with alcohol problems, such as alcohol dependence or chronic heavy alcohol consumption.

TRADITIONAL ALCOHOL BIOMARKERS - according to SAMHSA document, traditional alcohol biomarkers have generally been of an indirect nature because they suggest heavy alcohol consumption by detecting the toxic effects that alcohol may have had on organ systems or body chemistry. Included in this class are the blood-based measures of gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and meancorpuscular volume (MCV).

DIRECT ALCOHOL BIOMARKERS - this class includes ETG and ETS as the more recently available direct biomarkers which are used in detecting recent consumption of alcohol. At the current time, EtG and EtS testing may have a supportive role in therapeutic interventions in an environment where breath or blood alcohol tests are used to monitor abstinence.

CUT-OFF LEVELS - refers to the defined concentration of a substance in a specimen. If the level is at or above the drug test result is called positive and if the level is below the drug test result is called negative. A confirmation cutoff level is the level at which a drug is confirmed to have shown in the sample at or above the listed level and has given a positive result.

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