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Nail Testing

Drug and Alcohol Nail Test

From £99.00

  • The UK’s first at-home drug and alcohol nail test, for your peace of mind
  • From £99 for results within 7 working days
  • Easy-to-use kit
  • Only fingernail or toenail clippings required
  • Up to 12-month overview of drug and/or alcohol use

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If you require a drug or alcohol nail test for legal purposes, you will need a legal nail drug test or a legal nail alcohol test. To request a quote for legal testing services, call 0333 600 1300 or email testing@alphabiolabs.com.

The UK’s first at-home Drug and Alcohol Nail Test. Direct from our UK laboratory.

Why choose an at-home nail test?

Whether you have concerns about a child or family member using drugs or alcohol, or just want a test for your own peace of mind, our non‑invasive nail test could be the right test for you.

A peace of mind nail test is done purely for your personal use. As the name suggests, these tests can help lessen any worries you might have or enable you to seek support for a loved one who has been abusing drugs or alcohol but cannot be used for legal purposes.

Your test kit will contain everything you need to collect your samples and return them to our laboratory. With our quick turnaround times, you will receive your results in just seven working days.

If testing a child under 16 years of age, an adult with parental responsibility must give consent on behalf of the child being tested. Under UK Law, the child’s mother has parental responsibility automatically, and the father if:

  • Married to the child’s mother or
  • Listed on the birth certificate (after a certain date, depending on which part of the UK the child was born in)

Order your Drug and Alcohol Nail Test now online or by calling our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300.

Four easy steps for your nail test

paternity testing

Buy your collection kit

home dna test kit

Collect your nail samples

paternity testing

Post back to our laboratory

dna paternity testing

Receive your results by email

How can drugs be detected in nails?

When drugs are consumed, their metabolites are released into the bloodstream.

As the nail grows, substances pass from 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.

Nail tests provide a simple and non-invasive way to test for drug use for up to a 12-month period prior to the samples being collected. Fingernails provide an approximate six-month overview, and toenails an approximate 12-month overview, as fingernails and toenails grow at different rates.

A nail drug test cannot tell us when drugs were consumed but can show us which drugs have been consumed during the six- or- 12-month period prior to the samples being collected.

How can alcohol be detected in nails?

As with drugs, 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).

These EtG biomarkers become trapped within the keratin fibres along the length of the nail.

A nail test for alcohol can only show abstinence during an approximate six-month (fingernails) or 12-month (toenails) period, by identifying whether or not EtG is present in the sample. We cannot say when or how much alcohol was consumed, only whether someone has consumed alcohol during that period.

Which drugs can we test for?

Nail drug testing can be used to test for the following substances:

Cocaine Methamphetamine
Cannabis Benzodiazepines
Opiates (e.g., heroin) Methadone
Ecstasy (MDMA) PCP
Ketamine Zolpidem
Amphetamine

Results emailed to you in just 7 working days

Sample collection

All nail polish or artificial nail applications must be completely removed before samples are collected. Otherwise, the sample will be rejected.

You should only submit either fingernails OR toenail clippings to be tested, as we cannot test both nail types in the same test.

Please try to provide as many fingernail OR toenail clippings as possible. This will give us a viable sample to carry out a conclusive test.

Full instructions for collecting your samples will be included in your kit.

What does the Drug and Alcohol Nail Test kit include?

Enclosed in the test kit:

  • Test request/consent form and collection instructions
  • Specimen transport foil, to secure your nail samples
  • Sample envelope
  • Self-addressed envelope, so you can return your samples to us

AlphaBiolabs also offers legal testing services and workplace testing services, including nail testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a drug/alcohol nail test work?

A drug/alcohol nail test can provide an overview of a person’s drug and/or alcohol consumption, 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).

Who might need a drug and alcohol nail test?

Unlike other drug and alcohol tests which require hair, blood or breath samples, a nail test offers a discreet, alternative method of collecting samples for testing.

For example, if you are a parent who is concerned about a child’s drug or alcohol use, a drug and alcohol nail test could be the ideal option, easing any worries you might have that your child is using illicit substances, or enabling you to seek further support.

Whether you are worried that a child or family member is abusing drugs or alcohol, or just want a test for your own peace of mind, our Drug and Alcohol Nail Test can give you the answers you need.

How many nail clippings are needed for the test?

We ask that you provide as many fingernail clippings or toenail clippings as possible. This will ensure we have enough nail clippings to test and provide you with a conclusive result.

Our scientists will check that we have enough nail clippings to test when your samples arrive at our laboratory and a member of our team will contact you if there are any issues.

Please note that you should only send fingernail clippings OR toenail clippings, not a mixture of both.

How accurate is nail drug and alcohol testing?

All our tests are extremely accurate, based on the samples we receive.

As a UKAS-accredited testing laboratory, our processes are meticulously reviewed on a regular basis to ensure our methods meet the highest possible standards for laboratory testing.

With AlphaBiolabs, you can be confident that you will receive a highly accurate and reliable result.

What is the difference between fingernail clippings and toenail clippings when testing?

Fingernails and toenails grow at different rates, with each nail growing continuously and independently from the others throughout our lives.

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

Nail testing is an extremely reliable method for determining whether a person has consumed drugs or alcohol during the six- or 12-month period prior to the samples being collected.

However, we cannot say when these substances were consumed, only whether they have been detected in the nail in the six- or- 12-month period prior to the samples being collected.

Can I include fingernail clippings and toenail clippings in the same sample?

It is important that only fingernail clippings OR toenail clippings are submitted for testing. We cannot test both nail types in the same test.

This is because fingernails and toenails grow at different rates, with fingernails providing an approximate six-month overview of drug and/or alcohol consumption and toenails providing an approximate 12-month overview.

Can I provide old nail clippings for testing?

Yes, you can submit pre-cut fingernail clippings or toenail clippings for testing.

However, it is important to remember that the test will only detect drugs or alcohol consumed during the approximate six-month (fingernails) or 12-month (toenails) period prior to the nails being cut.

Only nail clippings without any artificial nail applications can be submitted for testing.

Can I submit nail clippings that have nail polish or any other artificial nail application on them?

No. All artificial nail applications MUST be completely removed before the nail clippings are taken, otherwise the sample will be rejected.

How quickly will I receive my kit?

Your kit will be dispatched as soon as we receive your order.

Options for shipping will be provided when placing your order including standard delivery, special delivery, and international shipping.

When will I receive my results?

Your secure, password-protected results will be emailed to you within seven working days from receipt of your samples at our laboratory.

Results will be sent to the email address you supply when placing your order.

What will my nail test results tell me?

A drug/alcohol nail test will tell you which substances were detected in the nail, providing an overview of up to 12 months (approximate six-month overview for fingernails and approximate 12-month overview for toenails).

Do I need consent for nail testing?

Yes, the person being tested must give their consent for the test to be performed. The test cannot be carried out without this consent.

For children under the age of 16, consent must be provided by an adult who has parental responsibility for the child. Under UK law, a mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth. The father has parental responsibility if he is either:

  • Married to the child’s mother
  • Listed on the birth certificate (after a certain date, depending on which part of the UK the child was born in)

Can hand sanitiser affect the results of a nail alcohol test?

No, hand sanitiser will not affect the results of a nail alcohol test.

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) that is present in the bloodstream when alcohol has been consumed.

As laboratory testing looks for the presence of an ethanol metabolite, rather than ethanol itself, the application of hand sanitisers or gels that contain ethanol (alcohol) will not affect the results.

Can I use the results in court?

Our Drug and Alcohol Nail Test is for peace of mind only. This means that the results are purely for your own information and cannot be used in legal proceedings.

If you require a nail test for legal reasons, you can request a quote for a legal nail drug test or a legal nail alcohol test and a member of our legal sales team will be in touch.

You can also email testing@alphabiolabs.com or call 0333 600 1300 and our Customer Services team will be able to help.

Buy your Drug and Alcohol Nail Test kit today from £99