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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Alcohol

02/12/2010

Question:

is it possible for someone to smell of alcohol after being in detox six weeks later.

Answer:

When alcohol is ingested, the liver begins to break it down. With a breath test, an ounce of alcohol is generally no longer detectable after one to two hours. The smell of alcohol on the breath would not be possible six weeks after completing detox if the person was not drinking. The odor of alcohol on a person is most likely an indicator of recent ingestion. However, if someone is diabetic and has a fruity odor to the breath, this could be the body's way of getting rid of acetone through the breathing process. This is a potentially life-threatening condition which may occur in diabetes.

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Response by:

Deborah L Hoy, CNS Deborah L Hoy, CNS
Clinical Instructor at the College of Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University