Evaluation of a saliva alcohol test stick as a therapeutic adjunct in an alcoholism treatment program

J Stud Alcohol. 1993 Sep;54(5):520-1. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1993.54.520.


This study was designed to evaluate the clinical usefulness of a saliva alcohol dipstick by comparing dipstick saliva alcohol concentrations to simultaneous blood and urine alcohol concentrations. The sample consisted of 211 saliva tests and blood alcohol concentrations and 189 urine alcohol concentrations. The dipsticks had a specificity of 0.965, a sensitivity of 0.895, a positive predictive value of 0.850, a negative predictive value of 0.977 and a Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient of 0.609 for blood alcohol concentrations and salivary alcohol concentrations, suggesting that the saliva dipstick is useful as a qualitative test in certain settings but is less useful than previously reported as a semiquantitative test.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Ethanol / analysis
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / urine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis


  • Ethanol