Do you think you could benefit from alcohol addiction treatment? This simple alcohol assessment test, referred to as the CAGE questionnaire (or CAGE alcohol test), can help you answer these questions. It offers a simple methodology for determining if you have an alcohol problem and can provide a quick indication for the need for a follow-up alcohol assessment. Online alcoholism assessments like the CAGE screening test have been used for decades by doctors and other licensed professionals to help reverse addiction.
History and Methodology of the CAGE Test
Developed in 1968, the CAGE substance abuse screening tool is a questionnaire that was created by Dr. John Ewing, founding director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was developed at North Carolina Memorial Hospital to detect drinking behaviors. The name of the test is an acronym that pulls one letter from each of the four questions in the test. “C” is for “cut,” “A” is for “annoyed,” “G” is for “guilty,” and “E” is for “eye-opener.”
The CAGE assessment, which was based on 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.
CAGE Questionnaire Scoring
Each response to the four alcohol assessment questions is scored, either 0 or 1 point. Responses determine the percentage of the probability of alcoholism, ranging to 95 percent. Higher scores indicate a potential problem with alcohol. While a total score of 2 or higher is considered clinically significant, some clinicians, such as John Hopkins, believe a score of 1 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 alcoholism. Regardless of what the score is, it is NOT an official diagnosis, which can only be made by a licensed professional. If your CAGE score is 1 or higher, you may want to consider additional assessment options, which are listed below.