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When collected close to the scalp, hair can provide up to approximately a 3-month history of alcohol and drug use. Hair offers a simple sample to collect, somewhat difficult to adulterate, and easy to ship.


A 1.5-inch sample of about 200 strands of hair (about the size of a #2 pencil) closest to the scalp will give 100mg of hair, the ideal sample for screening and confirmation. For EtG, add-ons, and/or tests above 10 panels, 150mg of the specimen is recommended. 




Highly stable, simple to collect, and easy to ship and store, fingernails provide a test sample at the cutting edge of drug and alcohol testing. Fingernails are made up of keratin, the same material that hair is made of. As the nail grows, substances can pass from the blood vessels below the nail into the keratin fibers, where they become trapped. Fingernails are four times thicker than the typical strand of hair and often capture more substance than hair can. Biomarkers become locked in keratin fibers along the entire nail length and can be detected up to 3-6 months after drug or alcohol use. Environmental exposure to illicit substances can be detected immediately in nail samples. When drugs or alcohol are ingested, biomarkers can be found in nails as early as 1-2 weeks after. The time period during which drug or alcohol ingestion can be detected depends on the substance used, the amount used, and personal metabolism. Fingernail samples are clipped and collected by the donor in front of a trained collection staff member. A clipping of 2-3 mm long (about the width of a quarter) from all ten fingernails will give about 100 mg of sample, the ideal amount for screening and confirmation. Larger profiles may require more. 




Urine provides the middle ground in drug testing, showing a history of drug exposure shorter than hair, but longer than oral fluid. A sample of 10 ml provides information up to approximately 2-3 days of drug history for most drugs.




Dried Blood Spot collection is the fastest, most convenient way to test for phosphatidylethanol (PEth) Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)PEth is created in red blood cells where it exists as part of the cell membrane. Research suggests a PEth test can differentiate between incidental exposure (hand sanitizer use, etc.) and the intentional use of ethanol. A PEth test in blood gives up to approximately 2-4 week history of alcohol (ab)use. We offer PEth testing in both dried blood spots and whole blood. The specimen amount is 5 dried blood spots from a finger puncture or 5 ml of blood from a standard blood draw using anticoagulation tube collection.. Standard collection supplies provided include 2 lancets, 2 non-ethanol-based alcohol pads, gauze, a collection card, and the dried blood spot drying box. We also provide the requisition form for the collection, which includes all necessary barcode stickers to maintain a proper chain of custody. Unlike venipuncture, dried blood spot collection is performed by the individual being tested (the donor) and can be observed by any staff member after a short training session. The dried blood spot drying box makes the collection even easier by eliminating wait time. PEth is an abnormal phospholipid formed in red blood cells following alcohol exposure. PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid to long-term alcohol biomarker, and a positive result (measuring phosphatidyl ethanol species 16:0/18:1) is an indication of alcohol exposure up to approximately 2-4 weeks prior to specimen collection.

Alcohol Test