How Much Does a EtG Test Cost?

Written by: Staff

EtG testing, often referred to as Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) testing, is the latest advancement in monitoring alcohol consumption.

Compared with standard alcohol testing methods, such as urine and breathalyzers, EtG screening is regarded as being more efficient since it can measure consumption up to 80 hours after alcohol intake.

Often required for those who are on probation, this testing is often used by the court systems or employers that have a Zero Tolerance alcohol usage policy.

How much does an EtG test cost?

On average, the price of the EtG test is going to be between $10 and $70.  Screening is going to be less than $20; however, if the confirmation is needed for legal purposes, the prices can go up.

RS EDEN, an organization that addresses critical needs in public safety and health, provides an EtG screening test for alcohol for $8, for example.  If confirmation is needed, an extra $35 is added.

At the Oregon-based De Paul Treatment Centers, another center we had found online, the EtG + UA (urine drug test) for outpatients costs $35.

At, the EtG / EtS – Ethyl Glucuronide Ethyl Sulfate Alcohol Test costs $39.95.  Bulk pricing is also offered.

If you’re just curious about the results, an at-home test can cost as little as $10 to $15 per strips.  Granted, if you were to purchase an at-home test, do keep in mind these couldn’t be used as results in a court case.

On, for example, most over-the-counter EtG strips, even though they have mixed reviews, retail for less than $15 for five tests.

EtG testing overview

The EtG test is a laboratory-based type of test taken from urine specimen collected from an individual.  Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a direct metabolite of ethyl alcohol and an indicator of recent alcohol intake or exposure.  The presence of EtG in the urine can be used to detect alcohol consumption, even after ethanol alcohol can no longer be measured.  EtG can be detected as soon as two hours after exposure and remain detectable in urine for up to three to four days or 80 hours after intake or exposure.

During the testing process, EtG test providers use different test levels.  The most commonly used test level is the 100 ng/ml LC/MS/MS testing.  It is typically used to monitor subjects for professional or clinical reasons. Another level is 250 ng/ml LC/MS/MS testing, which has a high enough cut-off to prevent most incidental exposures.  The third test level is the 500 ng/ml LC/MS/MS testing level, which is usually used for routine clinical and forensic purposes.

Reputable EtG test providers automatically confirm non-negatives at no additional cost, while others detect EtG and EtS (another alcohol marker) at the same time, a method that enables immediate confirmation.

Any positive result will mean that ethanol has been processed by the liver.  The EtG production is going to vary by the individual.

If you have purchased an at home EtG test, you will be given instructions, a way to collect a sample, and an addressed package to send the sample in for testing.  Results should be available in 24 to 78 hours, depending on the lab.  If done at a local lab, the results can be provided within minutes.

What are the extra costs?

In certain cases, a confirmation test may need to be done.  If this information is going to be used in a court case, for example, a confirmation is necessary.  In some testing centers, the confirmation test costs $35 or so.

Benefits of EtG testing

Detects ingestion of alcohol more accurately and for a longer period of time than the breath test or urine test.

EtG testing is ideal for abstinence and zero tolerance situations.

Can detect alcohol consumption up to four days prior to testing.

EtG is only present when alcohol is consumed and therefore there is no chance of false positives.

EtG allows for better monitoring of those on probation.

EtG can be tested simultaneously with other drug tests for convenience.

EtG testing can be a great indicator of whether a person is showing signs of addiction.

Tips to know:

Individuals scheduled for EtG testing are advised to refrain from taking or using products containing alcohol since it can cause the urine tests to come back positive, requiring you to perform a confirmation testing.  Things that can cause a false positive on an EtG, according to experts, include OTC medications for flu and colds, hand sanitizers, mouthwash, vinegar, food cooked with alcohol, and non-alcoholic beer.

Before EtG testing results can be used for legal action, there needs to be a support standard test to examine the results or where there is a viable contract that confirms that the person being subjected to an EtG testing is aware that there may be a positive result from incidental exposure to ethanol alcohol.

Keep in mind that this type of test can detect low levels and is deemed very sensitive.  Positive tests can show up even if the subject taking the test did not consume alcohol.  For instance, if they used a hand sanitizer or cosmetic, the test could produce a false positive.

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