Screening Test for Alcohol Abuse and Drug Dependency


The CAGE questionnaire was developed in 1970 and is widely used by physicians and mental health specialists to determine whether a patient’s alcohol or drug use has become problematic.  Although there are many other screening tools that have been created, this simple, four question test is quite accurate and easy to administer:

  1. Cut Down: Have you ever felt you ought to “Cut Down” on your drinking or drug use?
  2. Annoyance: Have people “Annoyed” you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  3. Guilt: Have you felt bad or “Guilty” about your drinking or drug use?
  4. Eye Opener: Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning as an “Eye Opener” to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

Give yourself the test and see how you score.  Each “yes” answer is scored as 1 point, with a score of 2 or more being clinically significant.  Further evaluation by a health care professional is recommended in this case.

If you are a member of North Idaho Direct Primary Care and need some support with possible alcoholism or drug addiction, contact us at 208-772-5204 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Samuel.  If you are not a member of North Idaho Direct Primary Care and would like to find out more about the medical and counseling services we provide, you can read about our practice here.

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