Which blood alcohol levels are reliable indicators of alcoholism?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Direct alcohol biomarkers include alcohol itself and ethyl glucuronide (EtG). [4] A blood alcohol level detects alcohol intake in the previous few hours and thus is not necessarily a good indicator of chronic excessive drinking. [5] Blood alcohol levels that indicate alcoholism with a high degree of reliability are as follows:

  • >300 mg/dL in a patient who appears intoxicated but denies alcohol abuse

  • >150 mg/dL without gross evidence of intoxication

  • >100 mg/dL upon routine examination


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