nail testing for drugs and alcohol

Nailed it! UK-first as AlphaBiolabs makes nail testing for drugs and alcohol available to the public  

Anyone with concerns about a child or family member abusing drugs or alcohol can now find out the truth about their loved one’s drinking or drug habits with the at-home Drug and Alcohol Nail Test from AlphaBiolabs.

The launch of the peace of mind test marks the first time that British consumers have been able to test nail clippings for drugs and alcohol by taking samples of fingernail clippings or toenail clippings at home and posting them back to an accredited UK laboratory.

Available to order now from £99, the non-invasive test looks for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol metabolites in fingernail clippings or toenail clippings.

Previously drug and alcohol nail testing has only been available in the UK for employers implementing workplace testing programs, or for legal purposes, such as where drug or alcohol misuse needs to be established for child protection matters.

A third of UK parents worry about their kids’ abusing drugs or alcohol

A third of UK parents worry about their kids’ abusing drugs or alcohol

A drug and/or alcohol nail test is especially useful for parents who suspect their child(ren) of abusing drugs or alcohol, providing a simple, non-invasive method for sample collection.

As the name implies, the peace of mind Drug and Alcohol Nail Test can help lessen any worries that you might have or enable you to seek support for a loved one who has been misusing drugs or alcohol but cannot be used for legal purposes.

With the test now available to the public, AlphaBiolabs asked 500 British parents* with children aged 9-16 about their children’s drinking and drug habits.  

Out of those surveyed, over a third (34%) admitted to having worries about their children abusing drugs or alcohol.

However, despite these concerns, fewer than half of those parents (14%) said that they’d confronted their child(ren) about their drug and/or alcohol consumption.  

Taking parents’ concerns into account, it was therefore unsurprising that 1 in 4 (27%) said they would be willing to have their children’s nail clippings tested for drugs/alcohol if such a test were available. 

*Source: Find Out Now, survey of 500 UK parents with children aged 9-16, commissioned by AlphaBiolabs (18th February 2022)

How does a drug/alcohol nail test work?

Nail tests provide a simple and non-invasive way to test for drug or alcohol use for a period of up to 12 months.

When a person consumes drugs, they are broken down by the liver and their metabolites are released into the bloodstream. These metabolites then pass to the blood vessels below the nail and into the nails themselves.

As with hair, nails are made from keratin, which is a fibrous protein. Illicit substances become trapped in the keratin fibres of the nail and can be identified via laboratory testing.

Likewise, when alcohol is consumed, it is processed by the liver and its metabolites are released into the bloodstream. A nail alcohol test looks for the presence of ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a specific long-term biomarker of ethanol (the intoxicating agent in alcoholic drinks).

Fingernails and toenails grow at different rates, with fingernails growing faster than toenails. This means that fingernails can provide an approximate six-month overview of drug or alcohol consumption, with toenails providing an approximate 12-month overview.

An AlphaBiolabs nail drug test can be used to test for cocaine, cannabis, opiates (e.g., heroin), ecstasy (MDMA), ketamine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, methadone, PCP, and zolpidem.

A nail alcohol test can tell you whether someone has been consuming alcohol during the approximate six-month (fingernails) or 12-month (toenails) period prior to samples being collected.

Where can I buy a Drug and Alcohol Nail Test?

The AlphaBiolabs Drug and Alcohol Nail Test is available now priced at £99 (alcohol test only), £149 (drug test only) or £199 (combined drug and alcohol test).

The secure, password-protected results are emailed to you within seven working days of the samples being received at our laboratory. Full instructions on how to collect your samples and return them to our laboratory will be included in your kit.

So, whether you have concerns about a child or family member using drugs or alcohol, or you just want a test for your own peace of mind, a non-invasive, at-home drug and alcohol nail test is the ideal option.

Please note that the peace of mind Drug and Alcohol Nail Test is for personal information only and cannot be used for legal matters.

For more information or to find out which test is best for you, call our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Services team now on 0333 600 1300 or email