How Long Does Alcohol Stays in Your System? A Doctor Explains

The Role of Shame and Guilt in Addiction Recovery
January 28, 2022
Getting started with React Learn web development MDN
March 4, 2022

How Long Does Alcohol Stays in Your System? A Doctor Explains

EtG tests are considered the gold standard of alcohol tests because they are much more accurate than other tests. However, they are not helpful in situations where the timing of the alcohol is important. For example, an EtG test may register a positive in a suspected DUI even though the person drank alcohol the day before and isn’t intoxicated.

  • Excessive drinking habits can also increase the amount of time it may take.
  • In general, a blood test can measure alcohol in your body for up to 6 hours after your last drink, while breathalyser tests work for between 12 and 24 hours.

Using the chart above, estimate the quantity of standard drinks consumed, each representing a single standard drink. The rate of alcohol absorption does not increase by sleeping or drinking water. If you may want to know how long alcohol will stay in your system and how long the detection window lasts, read through this article. How long alcohol stays in your system depends on your liver’s processing ability. Overall, it is vital to be aware of how long does alcohol stay in your urine and what types of tests are used to detect it. Knowing this information might help you make informed decisions about drinking.

Alcohol Detection Window for Urine, Saliva and Hair Tests

Acetate is converted to carbon dioxide and water, both of which can be easily eliminated. Carbon dioxide is eliminated through exhaled breath, and water is eliminated through urine. There are many different methods the body uses to both absorb and eliminate alcohol. The absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream begins in the stomach.

EtG tests are used to detect the presence of ethyl glucuronide in the urine. It can also screen for EtG in your blood, hair, and nails, but the urine test is the most widely used. The main purpose of an EtG test is to document whether someone’s drinking alcohol or not. If it’s so critical that you don’t drink that you would make a specific effort to alter a test that showed you did, then you might be dealing with an addiction. Contact FHE Health today to find out how our treatment programs can help you break out of the cycle of addiction and live a sober life free of alcohol. Many different factors can affect how alcohol is absorbed and processed in a person’s body, ultimately affecting how long it might be detectable in their urine.

Factors That Affect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) alcohol tests are a type of urine test used to detect alcohol use. Instead of looking for alcohol directly, these tests look for a byproduct of alcohol use called EtG. It can be detected in the urine for up to 80 hours, making these tests quite sensitive and accurate even for small amounts of alcohol use.

It also helps to avoid or distract you from triggers that prompt you to drink. Carbonated beverages, such as champagne or a whiskey mixed with soda, are absorbed faster. The study recommends that all positive EtG results should be reviewed by a healthcare professional.

What Happens to Alcohol in the Body?

Another study noted that PEth may be detected in your blood up to 60 days after heavy, prolonged alcohol use. Urine tests aren’t the only way to verify whether someone has consumed alcohol. Other methods — breath, hair, and blood tests — can detect recent alcohol consumption. EtG urine tests can detect recent drinking with a 70% accuracy — although one 2017 study showed that they’re about 85% accurate for moderate to heavy drinking. Most urine tests detect alcohol up to 12 hours after your last drink.

  • Roughly 20% of the ethanol in liquor is absorbed into the blood from the stomach and the rest from the small intestine.
  • Unlike the period of time alcohol stays in your urine, the hair retains ethanol metabolites for a much longer period of time.
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time can result in alcohol poisoning, which is a medical emergency.
  • In testing, the type of test you take can also affect the result, as tests vary in sensitivity.
  • Urine tests can detect very low levels of alcohol up to five days after consumption, and this is especially true with EtG tests.

Hair testing can be used to detect the use of many different substances, including alcohol. Alcohol can be detected in the hair for around 90 days after an alcoholic drink was consumed. If you’ve been drinking heavily and/or regularly, suddenly stopping or cutting back on alcohol can cause physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. The severity will depend on how long you’ve been using alcohol and how much you normally drink. In severe cases, you can experience a possibly life-threating type of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens (or DTs), which can occur from two days to up to a week after your last drink. Regardless of how fast your body absorbs alcohol, it eliminates it at the average rate of 0.016 BAC per hour.

For a man who weighs 180 pounds, three drinks will put him at .06. Based on this chart, a woman who weighs 140 pounds and has two drinks in an hour will have a BAC of .07. Drinking isn’t a guessing game—there are science-backed methods to understand how intoxicated you are based on your body type. If you have one glass of wine (5 fluid ounces), your liver will be able to metabolize it in about one hour. If you have two shots of vodka one after the other, it will take two hours to get sober again. Quitting drinking is a substantial life change and it can be an especially daunting task.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.