Hair Test at Evaluation

Nurses Recovery



So I have to get a chemical dependency evaluation at board approved facility. 

Do they do hair testing at the evaluation? More concerned about the hair in particular for alcohol. Wasn't disciplined for alcohol but know I must refrain from it.  Haven't had a drink in 3 weeks. 

Also how far back does Peth test go?


First of all, you did not disclose WHY you have a chemical dependency evaluation.  

2nd.  Alcohol usage can be detected in the hair for up to 90 days.  The test is more qualitative than quantitative and here is what I mean.  They can detect, going back to 90 days, if you have been drinking or had a one time-one night binge on alcohol versus the accidental alcohol mouthwash or hand sanitizer.  They can't tell if you have been drinking every day or every week, but they can get an idea of the overall volume and they can tell the difference in that versus accidental alcohol contact like alcohol pads for finger sticks and injections to patients or perfume or mouthwash.  

Important....think of a giant string of yarn that is Blue.  If you had one night where you got hammered 2 months ago and that was it.  You did not drink at any other time in the last 3 months, they can at the tiniest level with the highest powered microscopes, identify that giant string of yarn that is blue and with a 100 percent certainty, they will find that giant string of yarn with a completely and perfectly encircled yellow color that is sized literally within a couple days before or after and they can time it based on the length.  It's actually not hard for them to do.  

If you drank for example once every 2 weeks.  They can see and estimate those times based on the discolorations of the reagent that is ALARMINGLY accurate and simple to see with a microscope, and they have a mathematical formula based on your hair length sample and the size of the discoloration that can estimate the frequency of your use and the approximate time, and yes, this is so scientific that it has held up in court for over 2 decades.  

As for the Pleth.  If you are having a chemical dependency eval, in addition to the hairtest, they will do a urine test for alcohol.  The type they do will be the most sophisticated/most accurate possible.  As of 2023, the most sophisticated urine alcohol tests can detect alcohol metabolites for up to 6 days with very, very good reliability.  This is why so many people lose their licenses and get kicked out of monitoring programs.  It happens all across the USA after a 4 day weekend.  Lets say there is Christmas coming up.  For example, it's Friday the 21sr of December, so the 24th is a Holiday which is a Monday and the 25th is a Holiday which is Tuesday.  The nurse who is in monitoring calls in very early on Friday morning at the earliest time possible and they are NOT selected to randomly test that day.  The nurse knows they are off over the next 4 days and doesn't have to call in again to see if they are selected to test until Wednesday.  What does the nurse do?  The nurse calls in sick on Friday and instead, plans on getting themselve a stiff drink or cold brew.  Surely, 5 days is enough to clear the alcohol if they are selected to test the following Wednesday when it's time to call in again.  Well, 5 days is NOT long enough to clear it.  

You would be amazed how many nurses are removed from monitoring programs and licenses suspended or revoked around late December every year because of the 4 day Holiday.  It's incredible how many nurses call in sick to work on the last working day before the Holiday to give themselves what is basically a 5 day weekend instead of a 4 day weekend so they can get their alcohol in them soon, which gives them more time to clear it.  When it happens, and the nurse gets selected and tests positive on Wednesday when having to call in again, what does the monitoring program and board do?  They immediately call your employer and ask a simple question.  Was she or he sick on Friday, the day before the 4 day weekend, or did she take time off, doctors appt, etc?  Boards know this.  They have seen every trick in the book, and that trick is repeated with every 4 day weekend all across the country by nurses who think they are the only nurse in the United States to come up with their brilliant idea.

License suspended for a positive urine for marijuana on a suspicious drug screen. I Wasn't tested while at work but was called in to test 2 days later by my supervisor on my day off and I did self report after which probably doesn't matter.

It's been a year and half since that incident I've been clean ever since of THC never did any other illegal substances, however I did drink wine over the last several months about once or twice a week but have been sober for 3 weeks now.  Worried about eval testing for alcohol by hair they normally test hair at eval?

it's crazy because the drug I was disciplined for (thc) is no issue as for drug tests. It's the alcohol. I'm sure I need at least 90 days of sobriety to be good? I will still continue abstaining regardless so that I can get my license back.



Your license was suspended and you are still in.....ANY amount of alcohol shows poor judgement.  It begs the question much do you truly care about your licence.  With the volume of alcohol that you drank in the last 90 days, a hair test for alcohol will easily show a positive test. It's automatic.  

At a chemical eval, it's 50-50.  If you are being referred to that chemical eval facility by the Board, then it's likely they will do a hair test.  It's not automatic, but highly likely.   You said your license was suspended.  Did the Board specifically say in your suspension order that you must refrain from all mood altering substances?  I'm betting they did.  If they didn't, then tell the truth.  Tell the evaluator you drank wine.  Again....that is if you aren't prohibited from drinking wine or alcohol.  If you are prohibited....and I would think you are, you really need to ask yourself how important your license is.  Because....if they do a hair test, you are going to test positive.  It's automatic.  If a urine alcohol test, you will be good to go if no alcohol in 6 days.

I think you misunderstood . The incident of me testing positive for marijuana was over a year ago, the board investigated and here we are. I received my board orders order three weeks ago and stopped drinking as it stated to refrain from mood altering substances and alcohol. Haven't smoked marijuana since testing positive a year ago

I'll have to start eval soon and was just wondering if hair test for alcohol would be done. 

The hair test for alcohol is very, very likely IF.....IF the Board is picking the chemical eval facility for you.  If they are saying to you, "we want you to go here."  Then it's very likely.  If you have some say so in which chemical eval facility you are going to, then it's 50-50.

Hair testing for alcohol is not typical (usually just tested for drugs), but has been done if the person is referred for alcohol. Peth goes back 2-4 weeks, the more you drink the longer it takes for your Peth test to become negative. I would not worry about the hair test, and since you have refrained from drinking for 3 weeks, the Peth will most likely come back negative. Hope that helps. What state are you in? THC referrals usually get the most leniency, I would not worry too much. 

I'm in Louisiana. It's illegal here so don't know how much that plays into things, probably doesn't matter to the board as I was still suspended. I see some states where it's legal the discipline is usually a reprimand. I have no prior discipline.

I'm just worried about getting stuck with some 3 or 5 year contract even tho I haven't smoked in almost 2 years. I'm ready to do whatever I have to do to get my license reinstated. My case worker told me they may just want to monitor vs the diversion program. 


If you haven't smoked THC, that is no issue.  You are fine.  The danger is this....Most State Boards in the last 5 years are selecting the testing sites for where nurses go for evaluations.  It did not use to be this way.  The Board would say, we need an evaluation from somewhere in our state within one month.  Now, the Board actually has contracts with certain facilities in their states to which they send nurses who are referred.  What's the problem with that?   If the chemical eval declares that you have a program, then the Board takes them at their word, but there is more to it.  If the facility doing the chemical eval finds that you have a problem, then that facility also adds another nurse to the pool of those requiring random drug testing over the next few years, so it is going to make a buck by having you, or some other nurses having to come back and randomly test there over the next few years.

Unfortunately, the rate of nurses who are Referred by the Board for a Chemical Eval to a Facility that the Board picks, the overall rate in New York State in the year of 2020 was 89%.  That means, the facility told the Board that for every 10 nurses that presented to it for a chemical eval, almost 9 in 10 was declared to have a problem.  That's New York State.  I don't know about Louisiana.  Trust me....prepare for an alcohol hair test IF the Board told you go to to that exact place in which you are being evaluated.  They are very stringent and its more than drug testing.  You could test Negative on Drug Test, but there are chemical eval written-paper-interview tests they do that can cause them to report that you have a problem and need to be in monitoring EVEN IF you test negative in urine and hair tests.  

Yea I don't trust these facilities that's why I'm prepared for worst case scenario. I did notice that the board here recently changed(w/n last two years) to 'only allows evaluators that are affiliated with the board approved facilities' if u go to an external evaluator.

Any other evaluator not affiliated has to be approved 



Specializes in Occupational Health.
KoreyB said:

however I did drink wine over the last several months about once or twice a week but have been sober for 3 weeks


KoreyB said:

I will still continue abstaining regardless

Don't know what dictionary you're using but you definitely need a better one...cause this isn't "abstaining"

sleepwalker said:


Don't know what dictionary you're using but you definitely need a better one...cause this isn't "abstaining"

I've been abstinent since I received my consent order a few weeks ago so yes it is

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