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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Ascertaining an individual’s history of alcohol consumption is an important component in the proper treatment of accidental trauma or acute or chronic illness, as well as for matters of public health and safety, legal issues, insurance coverage, and the management of and recovery from hazardous/harmful levels of alcohol consumption. Although self-report of alcohol consumption in both research and clinical settings represents the most common mode of assessment, there is long-standing interest in developing objective measures of alcohol consumption that do not rely on the ability or willingness of a person to truthfully report consumption. Biologic diagnostic tests or biomarkers can provide information on current and past quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption. This chapter discusses and evaluates many of the biomarker candidates that have been investigated and provides insights into future searches for optimal diagnostic tools to provide biologic evidence of duration, quantity, and frequency of individual alcohol consumption. We have included a limited discussion of biomarkers for assessing cannabis use since cannabis and alcohol use many times are a concomitant feature of intoxication.

Keywords: biomarker, alcohol consumption, cannabis, hazardous, harmful, criteria, specificity, sensitivity

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