Like other illicit drugs, Alcohol can stay in your system that can reflect in your drug test result leading to adverse consequences. Many of you might have questions on “How to flush the alcohol out of my urine?”. There is no single solution to the question as it may differ based on various factors like alcohol intake, the frequency of usage, etc.
There are chances that your body might metabolize alcohol within 2 to 4 hours of intake. That may work on those who take moderate amounts of alcohol, but for others, alcohol may stay for a long time.
By educating yourself about alcohol, its breakdown period, how long it retains, and how to flush out, you will have greater chances of avoiding alcohol abuse and can pass your drug test.
Table of Contents:
- The Breakdown Process of Alcohol
- Alcohol Abuse Statistics
- Factors that Contribute to Alcohol Metabolization
- How Long Can Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?
- How Long Can Drug Test Strips detect Alcohol in your Urine?
- Can Water Flush out Alcohol?
- Tips to Flush Alcohol from Your Urine
The Breakdown Process of Alcohol
Once you consume alcohol, your body will start the metabolization process. The drink will get into your blood, and the blood will carry the drug metabolites to all the body parts. Almost 90% of the alcohol you consume passes through the liver, and only 10% of the alcohol leaves through urine and sweat.
The liver will break down the alcohol into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a highly reactive and toxic chemical that can possibly cause damage at the cellular and genomic levels.
The body cannot eliminate acetaldehyde. So it converts it to carbon-di-oxide, which can be easily eliminated. In some cases, the production of acetaldehyde becomes insufficient, leading to flushing and reddening of the face and neck.
A healthy body may break down alcohol at the rate of 20 decilitres per hour, but it may differ according to the age and frequency of usage.
The remaining alcohol will get to the digestive and urinary tract and get out of the system via urine and feces.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Like other illicit drugs, alcohol abuse is becoming a severe problem in the United States.
- According to NSDUH, 85.6% of people above 18 in the United States have consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime, with 51.6% of them being women.
- In 2019, nearly 25.8% of people above age 18 are involved in Binge Drinking, 22.2% were women.
- In 2019, Nearly 14 million people above the age of 12 were suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States.
- Only 7 to 7.8% of people were given treatment for AUD in the country, and nearly 4% of them were prescribed medication approved by the FDA.
- Almost 7 million children above the age of 7 live with their parents who have Alcohol Abuse Disorder.
- Nearly 95,000 people die every year due to Alcohol-related abuse and its causes. This makes Alcohol the third most preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Alcohol abuse has resulted in accidents, homicides, overdose, and suicides.
- The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol syndrome in the United States stands at 0.5 to 3.0 per 1000 cases.
Factors that Contribute to Alcohol Metabolization
Factors like Genetic, physical, mental, and environmental factors might contribute to the metabolization of alcohol. They are
- Food - Consuming food before or after drinking might lead to slow absorption of alcohol. A person who has not consumed alcohol might hit the peak alcohol level within 30 minutes to 2 hours of consumption.
- Drink strength - The higher the strength, the greater the time it would take to metabolize. For example, Malt Liquor can stay in your system for a longer time compared to wine.
- Weight and Sex - An 130 pounds man consuming two alcoholic beverages in one hour might have an alcohol level of 0.038. To be precise, the greater the weight, the longer the metabolization time. Women would take more time breaking down alcohol than men taking the same amount of alcohol because they have less amounts of dehydrogenase.
- Age - Aged persons might have less digestion rate than younger people, so they might need a longer time to break down alcohol.
How Long Can Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?
The exact time of alcohol retention in your system cannot be determined as it may vary as per the factors discussed above. Moreover, if you take two alcoholic beverages in a heavy or binge event, the drug might stay in your body for 12 hours.
But the thing is, the drug tests do not test for alcohol. Instead, they test for the metabolites that the body might have left in breaking alcohol. So, drug testing kits can identify your alcoholic consumption even after they have metabolized.
Taking detox drinks or drinking more water might not flush out the metabolites completely. You will need professional support from a certified medical professional to eliminate the drug metabolites from your body. There are several detox programs like inpatient programs, outpatient programs, partial hospitalization, and transition living that you may consider joining if you are suffering from alcohol abuse.
How Long Can Drug Test Strips detect Alcohol in your Urine?
Drug test strips may detect alcohol consumption from 12 to 24 hours on conventional drug testing. Sometimes, the drug detection may extend up to 72 hours. The timeline might vary based on consumption, frequency, age, sex, and weight.
Make sure that you use high-quality urine drug testing kits to test your urine. Employers may use instant drug testing kits in bulk to conduct pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug testing kits.
If you get positive results, you will have to send the sample to the lab for further analysis. The lab-based tests might identify the drug metabolites from 1 to 3 weeks before consumption.
Can Water Flush out Alcohol?
Yes, but not completely. Water can play a vital role in flushing out alcohol, but it cannot eliminate the drug traces from your system. Taking more amount of water before the drug test might lead to dilution of the sample. Diluted samples might not be considered for testing.
Fluid intake is crucial for flushing out alcohol and other drug metabolites. You can consume an average of 7 to 8 pints of water per day to keep you hydrated and deduce the drug metabolites. However, an average human will struggle to drink that amount of water per day.
It would be best to remember that it is the liver that does all the hard work to break down the alcohol. So, unless the liver breaks down the alcohol altogether, there is no good in flushing your body.
Tips to Flush Alcohol from Your Urine
- Stay Hydrated – Always drink considerable amounts of water before, after, or during alcohol intake that might help a bit. Drinking lime water would be good for the liver.
- Drink Green Tea – Green tea is an excellent antioxidant, and so it can help flush the toxins out of the body.
- Moderate drinking – The liver can process only a certain amount of alcohol in an hour. Heavy drinking might damage the liver and its functionalities.
- Take enough rest – Sleeping is the best exercise. Take adequate rest that might allow the liver to metabolize the alcohol that you might have consumed.
- Do not be a regular drinker - Consuming excessive alcohol daily might make the liver challenging to break down the drug leading to abuse. Limit your alcohol intake to once in three days.
- Eat probiotic foods and green vegetables – Taking probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kefir, or kombucha and green vegetables and fruit can help metabolize and boost liver health and remove dietary fats.
- Work out – Working out can assist in letting out waste fluids like sweat, and it can fasten up the flushing out process. Make sure that you stay hydrated if you are working out, as you might dehydrate more if you work out.
Drug and Alcohol tests have become mandatory in many organizations in the United States. It could be better if you avoid taking alcohol regularly to feel safe and confident during your alcohol drug test rather than looking for alternatives to flush it.