CAGE Questions for Alcohol Use

Addiction is complex and if you have concerns, one phone call can change your life. Educate yourself about addiction and all it’s complexities. If you suspect that you or a loved one might be exhibiting signs of an alcohol problem or a drug abuse issue, contact Renaissance Recovery Center for information and help. One or more “yes” responses is regarded as a positive screening test, indication possible substance use and need for further evaluation. “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.

cage assessment

1] as an easy-to-use tool to identify severe alcohol dependence. As a counselor, I often refer clients seeking assistance eco sober house boston with addiction recovery to Steven Brown. He does good work and has been instrumental in changing many lives.

Cage Alcohol Assessment

Only a small proportion of physicians integrate evaluation for alcoholism and other addictions into their standard work-up. A score of 2 to 3 indicates a high index of suspicion and a score of 4 is virtually diagnostic for alcoholism. The CAGE substance abuse screening tool is a questionnaire used by clinicians to identify alcohol use disorder. The CAGE test is not designed to diagnose alcoholism, but rather to identify the potential for alcohol abuse that may warrant further assessment and potential treatment. The CAGE screening tool is widely accepted as a reliable initial screening for potential alcohol use disorder.

cage assessment

These detoxification programs allow you to stop using substances quickly and safely. During this time, you’re gradually weaned off the substance or substances. It’s not always easy for the user to see their symptoms. You answer the CAGE questionnaire as a substance user to see if your actions or symptoms may show you may have a problem.


There are several alcohol use assessments to choose from, including MAST, CAGE and AUDIT. needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding. This article takes a detailed look at red wine and its health effects. Moderate amounts are very healthy, but too much can have devastating effects.

From 1970 to 1984, 17 reports had already been published using the CAGE questionnaire, but it was the JAMA article1 that called it to wide attention. Do you have any questions about CAGE questions alcohol addiction scoring or the CAGE criteria for scoring? This compares well with the measurement of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, which is abnormal in only a third of patients having more than 16 ‘drinks’ per day.

Although not as sensitive as screening questions, they are particularly useful in patients suspected of drinking who deny alcohol use. Blood or breath alcohol measurements are the most sensitive and specific indicators of recent alcohol use, particularly among binge drinkers. The CAGE questionnaire score is only the first step in diagnosing a drinking problem.

  • The CAGE assessment, which was based on the results of a130-patient study, is one of the most popular alcohol addiction assessments designed to test for potential alcoholism.
  • Formal diagnosis requires a thorough assessment and evaluation by your doctor.
  • The recommendation of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is that all patients who drink alcohol should be screened with the CAGE questions.
  • I encourage all who are searching to call this office.
  • They allowed me to dig deep into what would trigger me to drink and helped me to understand more about myself and the reasons I was drinking.
  • You’ll likely take part in withdrawal therapy during a detox program.

Abstinence for 4 weeks prior to surgery has been shown to decrease postoperative complications from 74% to 31%. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2% of adults ages 18 and older have alcohol use disorder and 26.9% of adults engaged in binge drinking within the last month. Furthermore, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. For the surgical patient, chronic alcohol use poses significant risks in the postoperative period including withdrawal, delirium tremens, pneumonia, and increased wound infection rates. Symptoms of withdrawal can range from mild tremors, confusion, and fever to severe electrolyte abnormalities , hemodynamic instability, seizures, and death.

CAGE Questionnaire

When AUDIT has been applied in routine primary care, approximately one in five patients screen positive for hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption. While the CAGE questionnaire has demonstrated a high effectiveness in detecting alcohol-related problems, it has limitations in people with less severe alcohol-related problems, white women, and college students. A fundamental problem is that most patients with alcoholism do not look like “typical alcoholics” as depicted in the public image, unless they are in an advanced stage and are difficult to treat.

cage assessment

Two “yes” responses indicate that the possibility of alcoholism should be investigated further. The principal investigators of the study request that you use the official version of the modified score here. Benzodiazepine Abuse Causes, symptoms, and treatment.

After the CAGE Assessment

The four questions focus on key indicators of alcohol abuse and can alert a social worker or primary care physician of a potential substance abuse issue. It’s estimated that alcohol consumption is responsible for 2.8 million premature deaths globally each year. Given its length, the AUDIT can be used as a self-report screener that patients can fill out in the waiting area before seeing the clinician. For brevity, the AUDIT-C, a truncated version of the AUDIT consisting of the first three AUDIT questions focused on alcohol consumption, can be used as a part of a waiting-room health history form. A score of 6 or more for men or 4 or more for women on the AUDIT-C indicates a need for further evaluation.

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CAGE Assessment and Diagnosing Substance Abuse

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. “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.

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Studies have shown that the CAGE assessment for alcohol abuse is most successful when asked as part of a health history. This would be rather than alcohol use being the topic of the conversation preceding asking the CAGE questions for substance abuse, which can cause the patient to become defensive. If surgery is needed in an urgent fashion, patients with known alcohol use disorder should be systematically monitored for evidence of withdrawal. Utilization of an institutional protocol for withdrawal monitoring and treatment should be implemented.

It is obvious to the person what the questions are about. Because talking about drinking behavior can be uncomfortable or stigmatized, people’s responses may be subject to social desirability bias. The honesty and accuracy of responses may improve if the person trusts the person doing the interview or interpreting the score. Responses also may be more honest when the form is completed online, on a computer, or in other anonymous formats.