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Alcohol screening?


Hi, I am a nursing student in Louisiana and I will soon be monitored for the duration of my remaining clinical courses due to prior drug related arrests (not convictions). I assume I will have to call a number each morning to see if I need to provide a urine sample. My question is as follows: Do monitoring programs use the PEth test? Or are the alcohol screenings usually done via urinalysis? I am curious because I do not use illegal drugs, therefore a drug screen is no issue, but I do occasionally drink socially. Any input would be very much appreciated!


Has 20 years experience.

I was monitored for 2+ years in Texas, they did check UA for Etg at that time. From what I understand if you "DRINK" etoh it takes 80 hrs for the Etg metabolite to become undetectable levels in your UA. If they ask for blood sample PEth the time table is much longer. Don't risk it, drink water or soda. Peace

My board also tests for alcohol (ETG)- there are all sorts of theories based on the marketing material of the ETG testing companies, but the actual testing window is much shorter. The cutoff level is also important, my board uses one that allows for incidental exposure- find out if there is a zero tolerance policy in your program.

That said I am so glad that I never had the taste for alcohol- it would make being in this program very difficult as a social drinker. I have actually enjoyed the fact that I can go to a party and drink sparkling water and have more fun than if I had a couple of drinks- people who are drinking don't know whats in your cup....

Here's how it works in my state: If you're being monitored for drugs, you're being monitored for anything that can be mood altering. This includes alcohol, Benadryl, NyQuil, the kind of antihistamines that come from behind the counter such as Claritin-DS, etc.

Ok. Sorry if this comes off wrong, rude or whatever.

Why don't you call your caseworker up and ask if it's ok to drink alcohol while being monitored. See what their answer is.

Sorry, but I am honestly getting tired of seeing all these folks coming in here basically asking everyone how to cheat while in a recovery program. I see it as if they need to ask then they are not 100% sure about their own issues.

This wasn't about cheating at all? I'm not even being montitored at the moment, it was only recommended. Therefore, I assume that I will be. Anyone being monitored can't consume alcohol. I was only asking about what type of tests they use for the alcohol screening. I was not looking for a cheating method whatsoever. I am not in a "recovery" program. I was arrested when I was 18, I am now 25, for paraphernalia and open container. Not convicted. There is no form of addiction or dependcy present by any means, so the "cheating" comment did come off as "wrong, rude, or whatever" .

What does it matter to you about the "type" of testing they use. Your social drinking will get you busted. Since you don't know when your test will pop up its a dangerous game to play. Curiosity in this forum doesn't fly well.

Hello student nurse and welcome to the forum! Your question wasn't a wrong or bad question- so please don't hesitate to continue to come here looking for support- monitoring programs whether for chemical dependence or not are stressful, and we know our monitoring programs :). I am going to expand upon what others here have said. We are addicts and alcoholics (most of us)- easier said we have chemical dependency issues which have brought us together here- to receive hope, strength, and advice. This is life and death for us, and while you don't have any chemical dependency issues it is worthwhile that you gain knowledge- both as a nurse and as someone in a monitoring program. The question you asked is not dangerous for you- but for someone with addiction it is absolutely life threatening. Early recovery (whether chosen or forced by a monitoring program) is a very vulnerable time. Speaking from experience in my first 30 days I would have jumped at the opportunity to drink if I thought I could have gotten away with it- and believe me- i looked through this site for loopholes in the programs. It wasn't until I reached 60+ days of sobriety that I finally lost that obsession. I was very very sick. When people are rough and straightforward with you here (and I know it comes off as blunt and rude) it is because we need that. We need straight, blunt, sometimes rude sounding answers to our questions. I would also expect that you may receive commentary about whether or not you do in fact suffer from this illness also. Please try to not take these things as personal attacks. Addiction is rooted in secrecy and denial- weve all had to go through the stage and many of us here have denied denied denied and finally had to become truthful with ourselves and others. Sorry for the long winded response. Very glad you found us.

catmom1, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

I was tested for over 5 years for all mood altering substances (except nicotine was okay, which I have never used).

Anyway, I have never been interested in alcohol but was subjected to the apparently very sensitive EtG test throughout my monitoring. I was so scared of it that I was careful about everything I ate as well as drank for any hint of alcohol.

As a person who has never especially liked the effect of alcohol, I cannot imagine wanting to drink socially while I was being monitored. At first, I though responses to Studentnursedgm were too harsh, but anyone who wants to drink "socially" while their license and livelihood are on the line really likes "social" drinking way too much.

Catmom :paw:

I agree. I never claimed to want to go bar hopping, nor did I say that I am urging to drink when and if I am monitored. All I did was say that I drink socially, which is approximately 1-2 times per month, which is the reason why I asked about alcohol testing.......

This "wanting" to drink and "cheating"ethe system was never mentioned nor intended. Not even once was it mentioned. I am not very sure where the comments have even come from. They have not answered my question whatsoever, only negatively commented inferring that I want to get hammered and cheat the system. Gee. Appreciate the hospitality, fellow nurses.

To the OP: in answer to your original question: you will most likely be tested for alcohol in some manner- you will have to find out from your particular monitoring program specifically how it is done, etc- as this can vary from program to program.