Monday, April 13, 2015

DHCF and Drug Testing for Alcohol



(Name Withheld)

Hi I came across Your blog and I had a question about the dcfs drug testing - I gave birth to a baby that tested positive for cocaine - now dcfs is involved and is getting me into substance abuse outpatient treatment. One place denied me services because I am not a frequent user. In fact the last time I have used was 8 yrs prior. Can dcfs order that I cannot drink alcohol and also do you think they are testing my urine screenings for it ? Yes I do have a newborn but my bf is also here to watch the baby thru the night if I do drink

a few seconds ago

Ok quick question the last time you had used was 8 yrs prior, then how did your unborn child test positive for cocaine? If I am not mistaken cocaine only stays in the system for 1 week depending on frequency of use up to two. DCFS can order you to do what ever they deem necessary for reunification with your child. (Is your child still with you and are you doing in home care?) The only way they can get any result of alcohol in your urine tests there would have to be quite a lot of alcohol that you would be consuming. Like I said they can order you what ever they want. And since you signed a case plan you agreed to do what ever they want. I do not know this but, when you signed the case plan you also admitted to all the allegations that were brought up against you. My best advice to you is to stop drinking and comply every way they ask. Another quick question, if there is no issue with drinking addiction why are you so worried about not being able to? I am not judging you, at all and please dont think that I am, I am not. All I am saying DCHS usually does not get involved if there is no underlying issues. I wish you only the best, and I pray you will remain strong and get through this. Do it for the kids, they are all that matters.


Some research on cocaine and the length it stays in your system

Cocaine generally stays in your system for about 2-4 days. In fact, this is the detection window for urine for most casual users. However, chronic or heavy cocaine users may have a much longer detection window. Main cocaine uses, detection time frames and other aspect of cocaine use here. And if you still have questions about cocaine in your system, you are more than welcome to ask them in the comments section at the end.


How Do You Take Cocaine?

The principal routes of cocaine administration are oral, intranasal, intravenous, and inhalation. Snorting cocaine occurs when the cocaine powder is inhaled through the nose. There, cocaine is absorbed through the nasal tissue to the bloodstream.

Injecting cocaine, or IV cocaine use, releases the drug directly into the bloodstream and heightens the intensity of its effects. Smoking involves inhaling the cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs. The absorption after smoking cocaine is as fast as by injection.

Main Cocaine Uses

Cocaine is used mainly for recreational purposes to increase alertness, relieve fatigue, feel stronger and more decisive. Often, cocaine is abused for its intense euphoric effects.  Rarely or seldom is cocaine used as a topical local anesthetic for ear, nose and throat surgery. Traditionally, the coca leaves are chewed or brewed into a tea for refreshment and to relieve fatigue.

Peak Levels And Half Life Of Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant.Cocaine has a short half-life of about 0.8 to 0.2 hours. The half-life of benzoylecgonine, the main cocaine metabolite though is 6 hours.

However, the most important factor for cocaine performance in the body is the route of administration. For example, snorting 160 mg of cocaine results in peak levels at 30 minutes; the peak of benzoylecgonine, is around 3 hours. After oral administration of 140 mg cocaine, peak levels occur in plasma concentrations at 1 hour. And while a single dose of 32 mg IV injected cocaine produces peak plasma concentration within 5 minutes, smoking reaches the peak at 45 minutes.

Cocaine Drug Testing: How Long Does Cocaine Stay In The Body?

Cocaine is extensively metabolized to a variety of compounds which are centrally inactive. Most of it metabolizes within 4 hours. But cocaine is still detectable on most drug tests up to a week later and can be “visible” for up to three months in other specific kinds of testing.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Blood?

Small part of a cocaine dose may stay in the system and be detected in blood for 48 hours after use. Many users may develop cocaine tolerance, and the changes in cocaine concentrations in storage are also crucial for blood testing. Unlike other drugs, cocaine has a large overlap between toxic, lethal and therapeutic concentrations. There are cases when no cocaine presence in the blood was measured, even after prolonged use.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Hair?

As with other drugs, cocaine concentrations in hair are visible for at least 90 days after dosing. However, cocaine does not leave its marks at the root of the hair, but to specific areas. That means that it is there until the hair falls out or is cut off.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Urine?

As with other drugs, there is no exact window of detection for cocaine in urine. Cocaine metabolites may be excreted in the urine for up to several weeks after use.

Very low concentrations may be detected during the initial few hours, however, benzoylecgonine persists in urine at detectable concentrations from 2-4 days.  Chronic, heavy use of cocaine can result in detectable amounts for up to 10 days following a binge use.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Saliva Or Sweat?

Saliva elimination of cocaine has a half-life of 2 hours, while some cases have reported cocaine concentrations in the saliva even after 19 hours. Generally. the peak level of cocaine concentrations in sweat is at 4.5 to 24 hours.

Cocaine And Addiction

People often underestimate how cocaine can be addictive. Defined as a desire for more of the drug despite the negative consequences, cocaine addiction happens very often to drug users, including all routes of administration.

Problems With Cocaine?

Are you using cocaine and experiencing some problems, strange symptoms or extended side effects? Maybe you want to know more about the cocaine testing procedures?

Please feel free to ask your questions about cocaine use here. We will do our best in giving you a personal and prompt answer.


Posted: May 09, 2011 | Report This |

How long does cocaine stay in your system?

Related Topics: Cocaine

Answer This

Follow Question

Post new Question

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Matthew Hoffman, MDFollow Matthew Hoffman, MD

Matthew Hoffman, MD

Internal Medicine

Emory University

131 Answers
75,738 Helpful Votes


Cocaine provides its high by quickly achieving high levels in the bloodstream during use. Smoking or injecting cocaine results in peak blood levels and effects on the body within a few minutes. After snorting cocaine, blood levels and effects of the drug reach their peak after about fifteen15 minutes. During this time, cocaine produces an intense high (and an increased risk of  damaging effects on the heart and blood vessels, and sometimes other organ systems).

Blood tests can detect cocaine itself for about 12 hours after use. Urine tests check for metabolic byproducts of cocaine, and in infrequent users a urine test is positive for up to two to three days after cocaine use. However, in those who use cocaine regularly, a urine test may be positive for two weeks after the last use. Hair samples can detect cocaine for several months after using.

What You Should Know About Testing for Alcohol in Urine

In This Issue

User Group Attendance Triples
Harris Corporation Leverages Net Reference to Ensure Timely, Quality Hires
What You Should Know About Testing for Alcohol in Urine
Drugtec Improves Client Experience
Nationwide Canadian Criminal Checks
E-mail Encryption for MRO Verified Drug Testing Results
Compliance Corner
CSR Spotlight
FAA Issues Final Rule Regarding Refusals to Submit to DOT Testing
Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance Issues Q and As

Please Note: The following is presented as general educational information. It is not legal advice, either expressed or implied. Consultation with your legal counsel is recommended for all matters of employment law.
Of all the drugs tested in workplace drug testing programs, the most abused drug and the one that poses the greatest hazard is the only one that is legal without a prescription - alcohol.
Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in this country, and it is also the only one where a legislated impairment level exists. This legislated impairment level creates a unique situation because it makes alcohol the only tested drug for which there is a direct relation between test result and impairment. For an employer, it is relatively easy to decide what to do when it is known that a tested employee is legally impaired, but it may not be so easy to decide what is to be done when testing indicates presence of alcohol below that 'legal impairment threshold'.
There are many questions to be addressed, but two requirements must be present at the start and throughout the process:
1. A scientifically and forensically valid testing technique that produces a clear result, and
2. The ability to reliably compare that result to blood alcohol, which is the benchmark for legal impairment.
Before testing begins, employers should decide whether the intention of the testing is to detect only the presence of alcohol or to detect impaired employees. Each goal has its own set of difficulties and advantages, and this decision should be primarily based upon the employer's needs and philosophy. Clearly the choice of specimen type to be used in the testing is to some degree dependent upon the goal of the testing. Urine alcohol levels do have some relationship to impairment, but impairment is much more easily and forensically discovered using breath or blood specimens.
Disadvantages of Testing for Alcohol in Urine
Urine alcohol testing has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to do in cases where urine drug testing is already in place, but it also has a sizable number of disadvantages.
The limitations of urine alcohol testing become clear when taking a broad look at what happens to alcohol in the human body after it has been consumed. The alcohol metabolic pathway is divided into stages:
1. Absorption (30-60 minutes after ingestion)
2. Distribution
3. Metabolism
4. Elimination
Distribution, metabolism and elimination may be grouped together and called the post absorption stage. As noted, absorption may take as long as 60 minutes depending on many factors, but the post absorption stage may be much longer since alcohol is removed from the body at a rate that is constant over time but which may vary from 0.003-0.030 ml/hour. The population average is 0.015 ml/hr. Alcohol that has been removed from the blood to the urine may pool in the urinary bladder for hours after its metabolism has been completed.
Given the above, the main disadvantage to testing for alcohol in urine is the difficulty in relating the urine concentration of alcohol to the legal benchmark, which is blood alcohol. There are computations that can be used to do this when the urine sample has been collected according to an established protocol that requires a two void collection over a 20-30 minute period of time. These computations can give an estimation of blood alcohol level during the post absorption phase of alcohol metabolism, but they are very collector dependent. The collector must exactly follow a very specific collection protocol; and must collect a very accurate history from the donor about the time of the last alcoholic drink and the time of the last urine excretion. Either of these things may be complicated to obtain, and by their absence or inaccuracy may cast doubt upon the computations relating the urine result to the blood alcohol level and therefore upon the level of impairment of the donor.
Another complicating factor which diminishes the value of urine alcohol results to the employer is called "Tolerance". "Tolerance" allows heavier drinkers to metabolize and excrete alcohol more quickly than light or non drinkers. If tolerant and non-tolerant drinkers have urine specimens collected for urine alcohol testing at the same time after the same number of drinks and using the same collection process, the heavy drinker is likely to have a very different result than the light or non-drinker.
The timeline of alcohol metabolism independent of tolerance is a further complicating factor. It is possible that a urine drug test specimen collected in an early morning void will still contain alcohol consumed the evening before. How will this be addressed in the workplace when there is no indication of impairment and when the alcohol has been consumed legally during non-work hours?
With the ease, availability and forensic history of blood and breath alcohol testing, urine alcohol testing should be used today only for those employers who are already collecting a urine specimen for other drug testing and for whom cost, time, or other constraints determine that urine alcohol testing is the only viable alternative. Given the aforementioned problems with urine alcohol testing, how these employers handle the results of the urine alcohol test may vary widely and should be clearly explained in company policy.
There are more reasons that urine testing is not generally accepted as the best way to conduct alcohol testing. The concentration of alcohol in urine is generally accepted as 1.3 times the blood concentration when measured after peak absorption, but there are two factors which impact the authenticity of this value:
1. The ability of a tolerant individual to metabolize alcohol more quickly than a non-tolerant individual, and
2. The possible presence of Candida Albicans in the urine specimen.
Candida Albicans is a ubiquitous yeast that is known to ferment sugar into alcohol. Sugar is frequently present in the urine of diabetics and sometimes transiently present in non-diabetic urine. Most laboratories that conduct urine alcohol testing automatically test for and report the presence of sugar in the urine specimen. When that presence is reported to a Medical Review Officer (MRO), in the vast majority of cases the MRO overturns the result and reports a negative result because there is no way to definitely know the real source of alcohol in a urine specimen. While the impact of tolerance and the presence of Candida in results cannot be determined, it cannot be ignored. MROs and employers using urine alcohol results as the basis for disciplinary action need to be prepared to scientifically and legally defend those actions. Such defense may not be easy.
Best Uses for Urine Alcohol Testing
A clear and specific policy statement needs to be in place before any drug test results are acted upon. This is especially true for urine alcohol. What is the goal of the testing? What testing is to be done? What will be the employer action if a positive test result is received?
The best use of urine alcohol testing may be in situations where abstinence is a requirement. This is obviously the case in substance abuse treatment programs. It may also be the case where employers and employees have entered into a return-to-work contract or a last-chance agreement that demands abstinence on the part of the employee.
If urine alcohol testing must be used, the employer must have confidence that the result is indicative of alcohol use and not indicative of a fermentation process, such as that done by Candida Albicans in urine. A specific alcohol metabolite called ethylglucuronide (EtG) has been suggested as useful in this process, but use of this metabolite is very controversial.
EtG is an ethanol metabolite, and it is not found in urine as the result of yeast fermentation. EtG is present in urine up to 80 hours after the alcohol has either been consumed or contacted. Although this long urine detection period renders EtG testing useless in identifying impairment, the long timeline may be a benefit when the testing is used in abstinence requiring programs. There is no relationship yet discovered between EtG and blood alcohol, so it can only be an indicator of alcohol exposure, not impairment.
For EtG to be used as an indicator of alcohol use, it is necessary to have confidence that the detection cutoffs effectively eliminate the possibility of positive results coming from any form of innocent use. Currently there is no scientific agreement about what cutoff level should be, if indeed such a cutoff even exists. Indeed there is some data showing EtG positives from ingestion of orange juice that has been kept past the expiration date and undergone a small amount of fermentation, and from alcohol absorption through the skin after the use of alcohol-based lotions and skin creams.
SAMHSA has just issued an advisory warning against the use of EtG as the "sole evidence that an individual prohibited from drinking in a criminal justice or regulatory compliance context, has truly been drinking."1
EtG testing is conducted in the same general manner as all other workplace testing for drugs of abuse. An initial or screening test is performed using an immunoassay technology, and then a screening positive is confirmed by a separate technique. The best confirmation technique is LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography, tandem mass spectrometry). This has been shown to be superior to the standard GCMS confirmation used in most forensic workplace testing because of the chemical properties of EtG, however, not all testing laboratories employ this technique. Before any EtG program is implemented, it should be verified that the chosen testing laboratory employs LC-MS/MS.
Additionally, not all laboratories test for EtG in any manner. Costs also vary widely, with one laboratory charging $115 per test, another charging $21. Urine alcohol may be added to an existing forensic panel for as little as a $.50 laboratory fee. Of course, this does not take into account the increased collection costs both in time and collector effort due to the two void collection protocol. In addition, MRO time and effort to compute a valid blood to urine alcohol result must be considered. In most cases of urine alcohol testing today, the two void collection is not used, and the MRO may or may not be asked to equate the urine result to blood. One must question, therefore, the value of such a result.
From a scientific perspective, there is no compelling reason to do urine alcohol testing in a workplace setting. While arguments can be made relating urine alcohol concentration to blood alcohol concentration in conducted and processed in a highly controlled setting, it is a labor intensive means of determining blood alcohol. A more definitive and defensible result can be obtained by collecting blood or breath alcohol.
In programs requiring abstinence where the only interest is detecting any alcohol consumption whatsoever, EtG may be preferable to urine alcohol testing. EtG does not have the attached risk of yeast fermentation causing a false positive, but currently it cannot be said definitively that EtG presence is caused only by the prohibited consumption of alcohol.
Questions related to this information may be directed to Verifications, Inc. Compliance Department at 763-420-0600. For information about Verifications, Inc. employment screening products and services, please contact Verifications at 1-800- 247-0717, visit our website at, or email us at

  1. eHow
  2. Health
  3. Conditions & Treatments
  4. Drug Addiction
  5. How Long Is Alcohol Detectable by Urinalysis?

How Long Is Alcohol Detectable by Urinalysis?

By Chris Sherwood

eHow Contributor


  • Urinalysis is a common method for testing urine for signs of substances such as drugs or alcohol. Urinalysis is commonly done in drug treatment centers, but may also be used in places of employment where being under the influence of alcohol during a work shift can put yourself or other at harm. A urinalysis is one of the least intrusive forms of drug testing, but at the same time provides accurate results within a specific time frame.


  • Urinalysis tests work by detecting a metabolite of alcohol called ethyl glucuronide (EtG). Ethyl glucuronide appears in the bloodstream and urine after drinking alcohol has been metabolized in the body. EtG can only be present in a urine sample if a person has been drinking. This is an important benefit, as traditional alcohol testing that searches only for traces of ethanol can sometimes bring back a false positive. This occurs when urine in the bladder has elevated sugar levels and interacts with yeast and bacteria. This is referred to as "ethanol in vitro." Since EtG is produced only when ethanol is metabolized by the liver, EtG will be detected only in test subjects who have recently been drinking.

  • Sponsored Links


  • Testing for alcohol is done in much the same way that any urine test is done. The testing subject will be given a sterile cup to urinate in, usually with a temperature strip on the side to insure that the urine is fresh and real. The cup will then be sealed and sent off to a lab to be tested for EtG.


  • In traditional alcohol testing methods that search for ethanol, alcohol can only be detected for up to three or four hours after consumption (depending on how fast the body can metabolize the ethanol). In EtG detection, alcohol can be tested for up to four days (about 80 hours after ethanol has been completely metabolized by the liver). There is also no worry for alcoholics who have recently detoxed. The test will only show positive if you have consumed alcohol within four days, regardless of how much alcohol you have consumed in the past.


  • The detection of EtG in urinalysis is just as accurate as detection methods for other types of substances such as illicit drugs. Some oral hygiene products and over-the-counter medications may use alcohol in their active ingredients, and thus will come back with a positive result for alcohol consumption. However, most environments that employ random alcohol testing ask subjects to sign an agreement that they must refrain from using substances that could give a false positive.

Read more :


Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Official site of the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc.

Find Local AA

Contact Local A.A. Offices, Websites and Answering ...

AA Literature

AA Literature Catalog - Big Book 4th Edition - Is AA for You? - ...

AA Near You

This website does not provide A.A. meeting information. Use the ...

Need Help With a Drinking ...

Click here for contact information and links to local A.A. offices ...

Daily Reflection

Alcoholics Anonymous · 2015 International ... This is a book of ...

What Is AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men ...

More results from »

Post a Comment