The CAGE questionnaire test can help you decide whether or not you have a drinking problem. It’s likely that if you are concerned enough to take this test, then it’s also likely that you already suspect there is a problem and could use some professional help with your drinking.
How to use this alcohol CAGE questionnaire calculator?
The CAGE questionnaire is a set of four questions that can be used to detect alcoholism or alcohol dependence. This screening tool was developed by Dr. John Ewing, who published his findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1984. Since then, it has become one of the most commonly used tools for identifying people with drinking problems. In fact, it’s been estimated that approximately 80% of those diagnosed with alcohol dependency used this method at some point before seeking help from a doctor or other professional.
The test consists of four easy questions:
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Yes / No
- Do people ever tell you that you should cut down on your drinking? Yes / No
- Have you ever felt bad guilty, or depressed about your drinking? Yes / No
- Have people ever annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Yes / No
What does the CAGE questionnaire stand for?
The “CAGE” acronym stands for the following terms:
Cut down: Do you often wish to cut down on your drinking?
Have you ever felt that you need to cut down on your drinking? This can be a sign of an alcohol problem. You may not be sure if your drinking is a problem for you, or whether it’s just a phase. Or perhaps some people in your family are worried about how much alcohol they’re consuming and want to know how much is normal. Whatever the reason, cutting down on alcohol is an important starting point. Unlike cigarettes, alcohol can in fact cause physical addiction.
You should try to give up or limit your drinking as soon as possible if:
- you have tried unsuccessfully to cut down before;
- your friends and family are concerned about the amount of alcohol you drink;
- you are beginning to feel unwell after drinking small amounts of alcohol;
- you find yourself relying on alcohol because other things seem more difficult than when sober (e.g., coping with stress).
Annoyed: Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
When people are annoyed by your drinking, they may try to influence you to cut it down or stop altogether. You may be able to recognize that their concerns are valid, but feel unable or unwilling to change your habits. If this sounds like you, it’s important that you seek help from a professional who can work with you to come up with a plan that works.
Guilty: Do you feel guilty about your drinking?
Guilt is a strong feeling of remorse for past actions, and it can occur when you drink. When you feel guilty about drinking, it’s important to remember that feelings are not facts. You may be uncomfortable with how much or how often you’re drinking, but this doesn’t mean that your behavior is harmful or wrong.
It’s also important to remember that guilt isn’t always bad; sometimes it can be helpful by making you want to change things in your life so they’re better for yourself and those around you. However, if guilt becomes too powerful over time or makes it hard for you to enjoy living life then there might be another problem at hand (other than alcohol). If this happens then consider speaking with someone trained in substance abuse treatment such as a therapist or counselor who works with people who suffer from alcoholism.
Have important things recently been brought to your attention as a result of your drinking such as personal health, family problems, or work difficulties?
Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
- Yes, often
- Yes, sometimes
- No, never
It’s okay to admit that you’re feeling overwhelmed, or in pain. You can’t be good at everything all the time. It’s better to fail at something than to never try it because you’re afraid of failing! The only way we learn is by making mistakes and then learning from them.
Alcohol CAGE questionnaire test – results interpretation
If you have answered ‘No’ to all of the four questions, you are most likely not an alcoholic. However, if you have answered ‘Yes’ to two or more questions, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor for further evaluation. The CAGE questionnaire test is a quick and easy method to determine whether you are dependent on alcohol. If this is the case – don’t worry! Many people with alcohol dependency issues have successfully overcome them and can live happily without any problems.
More alcohol screenings
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. Along with these short-term effects, it also has many long-term effects on the human body.
CAGE is an acronym for cut down, annoyed, guilty, and “eye-opener”.
The CAGE questionnaire was developed by Dr. John Ewing, founding director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.