Bald man slumped over a table with an empty bottle of alcohol

What Role Does Drug Testing Play in Treating Alcoholism?

Failure to accept a drug or alcohol problem is a common challenge among people fighting against substance abuse disorder. Drug tests can not only identify the substance abuse problem but assist in recovery.

A drug test provides measurable and reliable information to the team helping someone suffering from substance use disorder. It helps a person in recovery maintain accountability and prevents substance abuse relapses. Let’s take a deeper dive into the role of drug testing in treating alcoholism:

What is Drug Testing?

An in-depth survey by the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) sponsored by SAMHSA revealed that about 23.9 million Americans ages 12 and older were illicit drug users. Moreover, a recent study shows a 54% increase in the national sale of alcohol. Substance abuse disorder is a severe problem prevalent across the United States and locally here in Connecticut. A drug test is typically a part of a holistic approach to combating alcoholism.

Drug tests find any indication of an illegal drug in your sweat, hair, blood, or saliva. These are used to find traces of:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids like morphine, heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Barbiturates
  • Amphetamines
  • Psychedelic drugs
  • Benzodiazepines

When to Use Drug Testing

According to an insightful study about addiction of individuals who had experienced past alcohol dependence:

  • 25% were still dependent on alcohol
  • 8% were risky drinkers but did not show symptoms of alcohol dependence
  • 7% were low-risk drinkers
  • 3% were in partial remission
  • 2% did not consume any alcohol  

It raises the question, ‘when is it appropriate to consider drug testing?’ Here are a couple of reasons to include drug testing in your treatment plan

  • To identify an alcohol use disorder and identify relapses. Commonly alcohol use is identified by drug testing in the setting of the patient denying such use
  • To provide information to a government agency or the court system
  • To verify that additional drugs, which may complicate treatment, are not being used
  • To ensure compliance with abstaining from alcohol

Fighting off your addiction is a long and challenging process, and regular drug testing is a part of the solution. At Connecticut Addiction Management, routine drug testing is a frequent and important part of the treatment regimen.

What are the Different Types of Drug Tests?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMSHA), there are six main methods of drug testing:

  • Urine
  • Breath
  • Blood
  • Hair
  • Oral Fluids
  • Sweat

At Connecticut Addiction Medicine, we use urine samples to measure progress.

How Accurate are Drug Tests?

Urine EtG (ethyl glucuronide) testing is used at Connecticut Addiction Medicine to detect alcohol use. The test is sensitive and extraordinarily accurate. The detection window is 3 – 5 days depending on the volume of alcohol consumed.

Final Words

An intricately crafted treatment plan including drug testing can help you overcome your addiction. These plans ensure safety, increased productivity, improved health, alongside a safer and more positive lifestyle. We understand that fighting addiction and the stigma that comes with it is no easy task. Reach out to our experts and let us help you.

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