Alcohol/EtG Drug Tests – Everything You Need to Know

Alcohol/EtG Drug Tests - Everything You Need to Know

Alcohol Use in the United States

It’s no secret that regular Alcohol use is widely reported on a global scale.  According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Even 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year and 56.0 percent reported that they drank in the past month.  

According to WebMD, “An estimated 15% of the U.S. workforce — just over 19 million people — have consumed alcohol before or during work, or have come to work with a hangover.

It’s no surprise that many employers are becoming increasingly concerned about productivity in the workplace as this statistic affects more than just employees.  

If you are a recreational consumer of alcohol and have had to take a Drug Test before being considered for employment, no doubt you experienced a bit of anxiety before the procedure!

Whether you are preparing to take the test, or even administer it to an employee, It’s important to understand what these tests consist of and how to properly prepare for them.

What Is an EtG Alcohol Test?

An EtG test is used to detect Ethyl glucuronide levels in the body.  Ethyl glucuronide is a byproduct of ethanol which is formed in the body after drinking alcoholic beverages.  

EtG Tests are very sensitive and can read positive results even from the lowest exposure to alcohol.  If you are simply planning on taking a Drug Screening Test in preparation for employment, it is unlikely that you will be given this particular test.

In fact, an EtG Test is more commonly used to test for sobriety – due to its high sensitivity to alcohol levels.  However, if your future employer requires you to take an EtG Test, it’s important to understand a few things regarding the process and how to prepare for it.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In My System?

If someone is required to take an Alcohol Test (ALC Test), it’s good to understand how long alcohol stays in the system.  An ALC Test has an 8 hour detection time, which is lower than an EtG Test. According to, evidence of Alcohol consumption can appear in your system in the blood up to 6 hours after consumption and appear in Hair Follicles for up to 90 days after consumption.  See the specifics below:

Blood: Up to 6 hours

Breath: 12-24 Hours

Urine: 12-24 Hours

Saliva: 12-24 Hours

Hair: 90 Days

If someone is required to take an EtG Test, keep in mind that this measures Ethyl glucuronide in Urine.  This is a more sensitive test that is often used to test sobriety in individuals. An EtG test has a longer detection than an ALC Test – up to 80 hours after consumption.  If someone were to abstain from alcohol for at least 5 days before submitting their Drug Test, their chances of showing a negative read are higher.

Can I Test Positive for EtG if I don’t Consume Alcohol Regularly?

You can, in fact, test positive on an EtG Test for simply using household items that contain Alcohol/ethanol like Breath Sprays, Mouthwash, Aftershaves, and other Hygiene products.  This is something to be aware of because many household products on the market contain ethanol. Frequent use of some of these products may lead to a false-positive result. Some institutions may incorporate an additional test to verify the said results. Since there are many products that we are using every day that contain ethanol and which maybe can cause a positive ETG test, we should be aware of using them before testing. 

For those individuals who are preparing for a mandatory EtG test, consider avoiding regular or excess usage of hand sanitizers, cough syrup and other similar medications that include ethanol.

How Can I Pass The EtG Test?

Because of the sophistication of Drug Tests – specifically the EtG Test, it is becoming increasingly difficult to receive a negative result by any other means other than abstaining from alcohol.

Some have considered consuming large volumes of water in order to flush out toxins in order to increase their chances of passing the drug test.  Of course, consuming an excessive amount of water too quickly can result in health risks of its own. Some have over consumed water and suffered the effects of overhydration and water intoxication.  

If you consume large amounts of water before the test, you can in fact test for a “dilute test” result. Sometimes diluted urine may result in false-negative EtG levels. Abnormal dilation of urine can actually be detected and the results recalculated to average urine dilution.

Consider Purchasing an At-Home EtG Test

Here at 12 Panel Now, we provide ETG Alcohol Strips (25 Pack) for personal or business use.  If you are participating in a mandatory employment screening, or require this of your employees, or even concerned of your own levels, you now have an option that will give you fast, reliable results! 

See below for instructions

ETG Alcohol Test Strips Procedure:

  1. Remove the EtG test kit strips from its sealed pouch, or remove from the canister, and use it as soon as possible. For the best results, the test should be performed within an hour. The canister should be closed tightly after removing the EtG strips.
  2. Hold the egg test kit strip by the end, where the product name is printed. To avoid contamination, do not touch the strip membrane.
  3. Holding the strip vertically, dip the test strip in the urine specimen for at least 10-15 seconds. Do not immerse past the maximum line (MAX) on the test strip.
  4. After the test has finished running, remove the alcohol strip from the specimen and place it on a non-absorbent flat surface. Start the timer and wait for the colored band(s) to appear. The result should be read for 5 minutes. Do not interpret the result after 10 minutes.

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