What Types of Testing Might You Need to Take by Court Order If ALCOHOL or DRUGS are an Issue?
If alcohol has been an issue for you, you could find yourself subjected to tests that include urinalysis (UA), a breathalyzer like SOBERLINK, a blood screen, and/or a hair follicle or nail test.
Ethyl Glucuronide - UA - Verified Through GC-MS MachineGas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is an analytical method that combines the features of both of these types of analyses. The technology is used in drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis and other types of forensic analysis. You might be familiar with the machines as part of the items used by airport security in regard to luggage and human beings. GC-MS is the "last step" in forensic drug analysis, as it is used to perform a SPECIFIC test to identify the presence of a particular substance that is detected from initial broad based testing.
SOBERLINKSoberlink provides the most innovative solution for remote alcohol monitoring. Soberlink combines a professional grade Breathalyzer that is wirelessly connected to a cloud-based web portal. The technology uses facial recognition to confirm identity, tamper resistant sensors to ensure integrity of the tests, and automation to create a seamless monitoring solution. In 2016, Soberlink gained FDA 510(k) clearance for medical use and is widely accepted by major treatment facilities and clinical programs across the country. Soberlink has been a trusted alcohol monitoring solution for criminal justice, workplace compliance, addiction treatment, and family law since 2011.
Nail Analysis - Hair Follicle AnalysisFingernail drug testing is also considered "cutting edge" for drug and alcohol testing. Fingernails and hair are comprised of keratin. As the nails or hair grow, substances can pass from the blood vessels below the nail or hair, where they can be trapped in keratin fibers. As fingernails are typically thicker than hair follicles, nails can often capture more of a substance than hair can. Biomarkers that become locked in keratin fibers along the length of the nail can be detected 3-6 months after the drug or alcohol use. A clipping of 2-3 mm long (the width of a quarter) are necessary for testing.
BloodscreenMost blood testing is based on indirect biomarkers; i.e., the test is looking at how the body or its organs are functioning. Those markers can be influenced by someone who has been drinking, though results may be out of normal range for other reasons. Direct biomarkers are produced when someone has ingested alcohol or somehow increased their blood alcohol levels.
INDIRECT Tests include:
CDT - Carbohydrate=Deficient Transferrin (CDT) - The test establishes the percentage of trasnferrin that is carbohydrate deficient. In normal conditions, folds will fall into a range of 0-1.6%. Sometimes the range can go as high as 10%, often perceived to be an indicator of extreme alcohol abuse (or liver disease).
LFT - Liver Function Testing -- Measures the biomarker Gamma Glutamyl Transferase. Normal range for men is 10-71iU/L for men. If outside of this range, the result could be an indicator for alcohol abuse. Again, if an individual suffers from liver disease, that can impact the results.
MCV- Mean Corpuscular Volume -- part of a full blood count (FBC) and is used to identify recently ingested alcohol. This may indicate alcohol use, but is perceived as the least reliable of the available tests.
PHOSPHATIDYLETHANOL (PEth) Testing -- PEth is ONLY produced when a person consumes alcohol. The test has a sensitivity rate of over 99%, far exceeding the other blood tests noted above. The PEth test is designed to show if an individual has consumed an excessive amount of alcohol within the past 30 days (3-4 weeks). As PEth is a direct biomarker, age, gender, health or previous alcohol issues DO NOT impact on the results. PEth is becoming the testing choice, over the indirect tests listed above. If an individual's reading is above 35 ug/l this indicates some alcohol consumption has occurred. If the levels are between 35 ug/l and 210 us/l it indicates social drinking.