Can hair alcohol testing identify instances of binge drinking?


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Published: 1st August 2016

Lextox’s hair alcohol test for the alcohol markers ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) should only be used to identify if a donor is consuming chronic excessive amounts of alcohol over the approximate time period covered by the testing; it is not a test to evaluate alcohol abstinence, social drinking, or’binge drinking.’.

Because the data returned are integrated results for the entire estimated time period covered by the hair section studied, often over a 3 or 6 month period, a hair alcohol test is impossible to pinpoint exactly when alcohol has been consumed. It is thus feasible for a donor to regularly ‘binge drink’ (consume high amounts of alcohol in a short period of time) and still obtain a positive hair alcohol test result. It’s impossible to tell whether a positive chronic excessive alcohol consumption interpretation was due to a single binge or more frequent binge drinking.

Chronic excessive alcohol consumption is defined by the Society of Hair Testing as an average daily consumption of 60 grams of pure ethanol over several months. This is the equivalent to around 7.5 units of alcohol consumed every day or 52.5 units per week. A pint of lager contains roughly 2 units, whereas a big glass of wine contains approximately 3 units.

While hair alcohol testing cannot provide a thorough breakdown of alcohol intake, a SCRAMTM alcohol testing wristband can provide information on alcohol consumption after the bracelet has been placed. The bracelet records alcohol use every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can thus be used to determine a precise pattern of alcohol consumption over a period of time, such as 90 days, once it is worn. While full abstinence is impossible to verify, very low alcohol consumption, such as 1-2 units, can be established.

Please call us today at to schedule hair alcohol testing and SCRAM Continuous Alcohol TestingCall 029 2048 4141 for further information or email Lexox’s specialists can be reached at

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