NAILED IT: Parents can now test their children’s nail clippings for drugs and alcohol as the UK’s first ‘peace of mind’ at-home nail test goes on sale

Press Release: 1st March 2022

Nail testing for drugs and alcohol
  • For the first time, UK consumers can order an at-home drug and alcohol nail test 
  • *Survey of UK parents found more than a third are worried about their children’s drug or alcohol consumption
  • 1 in 4 parents said they would be willing to use a nail test to find our if their child is abusing illicit substances
  • Nail drug/alcohol tests were previously only available for use in legal cases or by businesses with workplace testing programs

Parents across the country can now find out the truth about their children’s drinking or drug use with the UK’s first at-home drug and alcohol nail test.

The launch from AlphaBiolabs, an accredited testing laboratory that provides DNA, drug, alcohol, and Covid-19 testing services for members of the public, the workplace and the legal sector, marks the first time that British consumers have been able to test nail clippings for drugs and alcohol by taking samples of fingernail or toenail clippings at home and posting them back to a reputable laboratory.

Available now, 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.

With the test now available to the public, AlphaBiolabs surveyed 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.

Rachel Davenport, Director at AlphaBiolabs, said: “Until now, parents who had suspicions about their children drinking or abusing drugs were left worrying about their safety, with no option for finding out the truth other than a urine test.

“It’s a fact that children, especially teenagers, can be subjected to peer pressure when it comes to drinking excessively or taking drugs, and often don’t understand the risks involved.

“Being able to test nail clippings for illicit substances can provide extra insight for parents, either helping ease their worries, or enabling them to seek the right support if the test returns a positive result.

“It can also help them start an open and honest conversation with their children about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.”

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 to 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 within seven working days.

Rachel added: “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.”

The peace of mind Drug and Alcohol Nail Test is for personal information only and cannot be used for legal matters.

If a test is required for legal purposes, call the AlphaBiolabs Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email

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

Notes to editors

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Warrington, Cheshire, AlphaBiolabs is a leading and award-winning provider of DNA, drug, alcohol, and Covid-19 testing services in the UK.

The company employs state-of-the-art techniques to provide timely, accurate, and cost-efficient testing to meet a range of needs. The company’s client base spans consumers, businesses, family and immigration law solicitors, social services, local authorities, and the media.

The company also has walk-in centres in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Preston, and Warrington.

Visit for more information.

The media contact for AlphaBiolabs is Alyssa James

Email: or
Phone: 01925 255450