- Alcohol Self-Assessment Test — Drug and Alcohol Rehab | Addiction Treatment Options
- What is Abuse?
- Common Signs
- Alcoholism Self-Test
- Drinking and Denial
- Physical Signs
- Know the Issue
- CAGE Assessment — Take the CAGE Test Here — Free & Confidential
- How Do I Know Which Alcohol Assessment is Right for Me?
- What Is the CAGE Alcohol Assessment?
- History and Methodology of the CAGE Test
- Alcohol Assessment Questions
- What Qualifies as an Alcoholic? Scoring the Results
- What Can Alcohol Addiction Lead to?
Alcohol Self-Assessment Test — Drug and Alcohol Rehab | Addiction Treatment Options
Even though alcohol is a legal, controlled substance, consuming too much can certainly be a bad thing. It is often hard to find the fine line between having a good time and abuse.
Alcohol is usually categorized by beer, wine, or hard liquor. Since alcohol slows down mental and body processes, you may say and do things that you wouldn’t normally have done being sober.
What is Abuse?
Considered a social lubricant, alcohol and can make you feel more confident and less ly to care how you are perceived by others. Any type of drinking that results in a negative outcome is technically considered abuse. Here are few examples below:
- Physical harm or illness
- Strained relationship
- Problems at work
- Financial difficulties
Addiction to alcohol, known as alcoholism is evident when someone craves alcohol and needs it to feel “normal”. Some common signs of alcoholism are wanting to stop drinking but can’t, drinking more than intended, developing an intolerance to alcohol, feeling symptoms of withdrawal after discontinued drinking, and putting a drink before personal and professional relationships.
If you drink alcohol to cope with things or to avoid feeling bad, there may be a bigger issue there. Below are some other signs and symptoms of alcoholism
- Losing control of your drinking
- Wanting to quit, but you just can’t
- Giving up activities you once enjoyed because of alcohol
- Drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of your time and day
- You still drink even though you know it is causing problems
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between having a good time with a few drinks, and actually crossing the line, especially when denial is involved.
And honestly, you may not even be sure where you are on that spectrum. Additionally, you can’t solve a problem if you aren’t even sure there is one.
There are some tools that may be able to help you see the bigger picture more clearly.
Listed below is a quiz to see if you have an alcohol addiction, or if you are in jeopardy of developing one. Make sure you answer the questions honestly. The results are anonymous and are just for you to help guide you in the right direction on your road to recovery.
Answer the following series of YES/NO questions to the best of your ability. And, remember to be honest with yourself when answering each question.
Do you find yourself drinking during periods of stress, sadness, and disappointment? (Y/N)
Have you noticed yourself having a higher tolerance for alcohol? Meaning, can you drink a lot more now than from when you first started drinking? (Y/N)
Have you ever blacked out and can’t remember anything that happened after drinking a significant amount of alcohol? (Y/N)
Do you often drink by yourself? (Y/N)
If alcohol isn’t available to you, do you ever feel uncomfortable? (Y/N)
Do you ever feel bad or guilty about how much alcohol you drink? (Y/N)
Has anyone ever told you that they are concerned about how much and often your drink?(Y/N)
Do you to drink more often or longer than your friends do? Are you usually the last person at the bar? (Y/N)
Have you ever regretted something you said or done when you were drinking?(Y/N)
Have you ever planned to limit your drinking, changing the type of alcohol your drink?(Y/N)
Do you tend to drink more on weekdays? (Y/N)
DO you drink when there is no actual reason to celebrate? (Y/N)
Have you ever been arrested or cited for an alcohol-related offense, such as a DUI or public intoxication? (Y/N)
Have you found yourself avoiding your family or partner when you are intoxicated? (Y/N)
Has your work or grades suffered because of you use of alcohol? (Y/N)
Have you ever deliberately not eaten a meal before drinking so you could get drunk quicker? (Y/N)
When you wake up with a hangover, have you ever felt that you needed to drink in order to feel better? (Y/N)
Have you ever had needed a friend to watch out for you while drinking? (Y/N)
Do you ever feel depressed before, during, or after periods of drinking? (Y/N)
Does alcohol abuse run in your family? (Y/N)
If you answered yes to:
1-7- You are considered a social drinker, and are more ly to save the alcohol to celebrate special occasions. You drink responsibly and know your limits. However, if you ever feel you want to scale back on your drinking, consider seeing a counselor or joining a meeting for support.
8-14 – You could be on your way to long-term problems with your drinking habits. You could just be going through a difficult phase, or you could be headed down a rough path. If you’ve already tried to limit your drinking, consider seeking professional help before the problem gets hand.
15-20 – Your life is being negatively impacted by alcohol. You often engage in risky behavior and excessive drinking is negatively impacting your work and social life. You should contact a certified addiction specialist to help you overcome your drinking problem.
Disclaimer/Note: This self-assessment is purely provided for self-awareness and educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose an alcohol disorder or addiction. Seek help from a treatment professional if you think you have an alcohol addiction. An inpatient rehab program may be your best option.
Drinking and Denial
Denial is one of the biggest obstacles that keeps someone from getting help with drinking when they really need it. If you find yourself rationalizing, lying or defending your drinking habits, take a step back and look at why you are being so defensive. If you really believe you don’t have a problem, there should be no reason to deny that you have an issue with drinking.
We discussed the mental and emotional toll of drinking, but there are certainly physical tolls as well. Heavy drinking can cause potentially lethal damage to the body including cancer, heart problems, and liver disease. Other issues include:
- Tremors, convulsions, or uncontrolled shaking of the hands
- Profuse sweating
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
- Persistent insomnia
- Nausea or vomiting
Know the Issue
Abusing alcohol is unfortunately very common, and can sneak up on you very quickly. If you or someone you know if suffering from addiction to alcohol, you don’t have to recover alone.
There are plenty of places and people that specialize in alcohol rehab who are willing to help you. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of alcoholism in order to recognize when there is a real problem.
It is very important to know also that a medical detox may be required before entering an alcoholic treatment center.
CAGE Assessment — Take the CAGE Test Here — Free & Confidential
- Your answers to this quiz are confidential.
- The CAGE Assessment is accessible online to anyone for free.
- There are several alcohol use assessments to choose from, including MAST, CAGE and AUDIT.
- Self-assessments do not replace professional care or treatment.
- The CAGE Assessment is accurate at determining problematic alcohol use.
Do you think you could benefit from alcohol addiction treatment? You can take a simple assessment at home that may help you decide. There are three frequently-used questionnaires that can indicate the possibility of an alcohol problem.
Of these assessments, the CAGE Assessment is the shortest with only four questions.
Online alcohol use screenings the CAGE, MAST and AUDIT assessments have been used for decades by doctors and other licensed professionals to help diagnose challenges with substance use. The CAGE Assessment is considered a reliable indicator of heavy drinking but a less dependable tool for less problematic forms of alcohol use.
Despite its limitations, the CAGE can be a good starting point if you wonder whether your alcohol use has become unhealthy. Using a quick, online assessment can indicate the need for a follow-up alcohol evaluation by a licensed provider.
How Do I Know Which Alcohol Assessment is Right for Me?
As you explore the varying alcohol use assessments available, consider some of the data associated with each one to determine which questionnaire you wish to use.
Each of these assessments is well-tested and can indicate risky alcohol use patterns, but some assessments are considered more clinically reliable than others, depending on factors such as age or your progression of drinking patterns.
What Is the CAGE Alcohol Assessment?
The CAGE questionnaire is a self-guided assessment that can be used as a first step in determining whether your drinking habits are cause for concern. It is used in a variety of settings, including medical practices and emergency rooms. It’s often a first-line questionnaire given to patients before other questions about substance use are asked.
The questionnaire asks questions from a lifetime perspective rather than just a few months or a particular moment in time. The CAGE Assessment is scored by simply counting how many affirmative responses are noted.
A score of two or more is clinically significant and indicates a high lihood of an individual with an alcohol problem.
Please consult a medical professional if this self-screening indicates a lihood of alcohol abuse or addiction.
History and Methodology of the CAGE Test
Developed in 1970 and published in 1984, the CAGE alcohol use screening tool was created by Dr.
John Ewing, founding director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The name of the test is an acronym that pulls one letter from each of the four questions. “C” is for “cut down,” “A” is for “annoyed,” “G” is for “guilty,” and “E” is for “eye-opener.”
The CAGE assessment, which was the results of a 130-patient study, is one of the most popular alcohol addiction assessments designed to test for potential alcoholism.
In the original study, the patients were randomly chosen to participate in an in-depth interview that included the four questions (the current CAGE questions).
The questions were selected for the test after they were successful in identifying 16 alcoholics from the group.
Alcohol Assessment Questions
The CAGE Assessment consists of four brief questions:
- “Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?” It is important to remember that the question is from the individual’s perspective and should reflect on their lifespan rather than just a moment in time.
- “Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?” This question helps determine the ways alcohol has impacted a person’s relationships and whether it has reached the point of getting criticism from others.
- “Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?” The question about guilt can help determine one’s relationship with themselves around the drinking behavior and whether it’s initiating feelings of inadequacy or shame.
- “Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?” This question indicates whether alcohol use has merged into other periods of the day to manage withdrawal symptoms or discomfort experienced from the previous day’s alcohol use.
What Qualifies as an Alcoholic? Scoring the Results
Each response to the four alcohol assessment questions is scored, either zero or one point. Responses determine the probability of alcoholism, ranging to 95% probable. Higher scores indicate a potential problem with alcohol.
While a total score of two or higher is considered clinically significant, some clinicians, such as John Hopkins, believe a score of one is worth a further evaluation. According to JAMA: “A score of 2 to 3 indicates a high index of suspicion and a score of 4 is virtually diagnostic for alcoholism.”
The CAGE questionnaire score is only the first step in diagnosing a drinking problem. Regardless of what the score is, it is not an official diagnosis.
A substance use disorder diagnosis, or any other type of mental health diagnosis, can only be made by a licensed professional.
If your CAGE score is one or higher, you may want to consider additional assessment options, including a consultation and assessment with a licensed provider.
What Can Alcohol Addiction Lead to?
If you or a loved one is concerned about alcohol use, consider reaching out to the experienced providers at The Recovery Village. Our team is here to guide you through the process and find the right type of care for your needs. We are here to support you. Give us a call today.
- Shields, Alan Laramie. “Reliability generalizations of three alcohol screening measures: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, the CAGE Questionnaire and the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test.” University of Montana, Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 2003. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Dhalla, Shayesta, Kopec Jacek. “The CAGE questionnaire for alcohol misuse: a review of reliability and validity studies.” Clinical and Investigative Medicine, 2007. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Williams, Nerys. “The CAGE questionnaire.” Occupational Medicine, September 2014. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Fujii, H., Nishimoto, N., Yamaguchi, S.
et al. “The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C) is more useful than pre-existing laboratory tests for predicting hazardous drinking: a cross-sectional study.” BMC Public Health, May 10, 2016. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“Alcohol Alert: Screening For Alcohol Use And Alcohol Related Problems.” April 2005. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “The CAGE Questionaire.” MIRECC, 2001. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- John Hopkins Medicine. “CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool.” Accessed August 28, 2021.
- O’Brien, Charles P.
“The CAGE Questionnaire for Detection of Alcoholism.” JAMA Classics, 2008. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Ewing, John. “Detecting Alcoholism: The CAGE Questionnaire.” JAMA, October 12, 1984. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Gordon, AJ; Conigliaro, J; Fiellin, DA.
“100 – Selective Methods Used in Alcohol Research: Screening in Primary Care – Methods and Approaches.” Comprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology, 2005. Accessed August 28, 2021.
- Medical Disclaimer
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.
We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
View our editorial policy or view our research.
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