Screening Tests For Alcoholism
Since alcohol is a substance that is widely abused throughout most societies in the world today, it can be
difficult to admit to yourself that you have a drinking problem if that is indeed the case.
To that end, if you’ve ever questioned whether or not your alcohol consumption was out of control, you should
read the following article in order to get a basic idea of the disease.
One commonly used approach for diagnosing alcoholism in a clinic is known as the CAGE questionnaire.
The questionnaire consists of a simple four questions which can help to lay the groundwork for a diagnosis of
It has been extensively validated over the years and many people rely on it exclusively for diagnosing the
Now, we’ll give an explanation of the four questions in order to let you know where you stand.
The first question in the CAGE questionnaire is to ask yourself whether or not you have ever felt that you should
cut down on your drinking.
This simple, introspective question can help to shed some light on if you really have a problem within your life
that is recognizable even to yourself.
The second question on the questionnaire is to ask yourself if you have ever found yourself to be annoyed or
irritated when someone has made a comment about your drinking habits.
This can be seen as a type of denial in which you don’t want to face the facts about what you are really doing
to your body through the corrosive habit.
The third question for the CAGE questionnaire addresses guilt. Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking
If you have, your drinking may be a source of shame in your life because you may have a weakness when it comes
This is one of the biggest indicators that there is a problem with drinking present within your life.
Did You Know
Alcoholism effects men and women at different levels and over different amounts of
time but one thing that everyone who is an alcoholic has in common is that their bodies will be
negatively affected and damaged from the regular intake of alcohol.
Alcoholism affects all of the body systems including the brain.
There are short-term effects that last during the drinking phase but once the
person is in recovery, those effects go away. There are also long-term effects that are caused by
the alcoholism and are permanent damage to the drinker.
Some of the short-term effects of alcoholism are related to being drunk. T
hese include things such as weight loss, intoxication, drunk driving, poor
decision-making, and irresponsibility and reproductive disorders.
Once the alcoholic is sober, they may have to go through counseling in order to
learn better responsibility and decision-making tools but without the alcohol, the person is much
Of course being intoxicated goes away when the person stops drinking and they
have a tendency to gain weight because time that was spent drinking and not eating is replaced with
at least eating regular meals.
Alcohol alters the brain and inhibits its functioning. Interestingly, people will
feel like they are extra creative and will believe that they are "with it".
However, alcohol is a depressant and actually slows brain function. Alcohol will
actually inhibit creativity and productivity regardless of how it makes the alcoholic feel.
The regular use of alcohol will actually alter the reproductive cycle in women and
can cause infertility as well as other reproductive related problems.
The long-term or even permanent effects of alcoholism are more dangerous and
difficult if not impossible to recover from.
Alcoholism causes the human brain to literally shrink over time.
This causes brain cells to die and can affect memory, sight, smell, hearing,
hormones, and the nervous system.
Alcoholism can also cause infertility in both men and women as well as permanent
birth defects in babies who are born to alcoholic mothers.
Cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer can result from excessive drinking as well
as cancers of the stomach and breast, too.
The final question on the CAGE questionnaire is to ask yourself whether or not you have ever woke up in the
morning feeling like you needed a drink to start the day or to help get rid of a hangover.
Some people choose to drink in the morning to steady their nerves before performing some certain
If these signs sound like they are ones that you can detect in your own life, you may want to consider
speaking to a doctor about the possibility of alcoholism.
There are plenty of different treatment options that can help you to get over a problem with alcohol and
many people are able to successfully kick the habit every day.
Drinking steadily and consistently over time can cause a physical dependence on alcohol as
well as withdrawal symptoms when going without alcohol for very long.
Physical dependence will not lead to alcoholism by itself.
There must first be issues involved that cause the person to abuse alcohol and to abuse
alcohol in an effort to deal with painful emotions and/or experiences.
Many factors lead to alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
These things are important to recognize when the alcoholic goes through recovery and quits
Any factors that can be removed or solved need to be addressed as part of the alcoholism
In order to keep the CAGE questionnaire fresh in your head, we will now go over the acronym.
C stands for cutting down – have you felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
A stands for annoyed – have other people commented on your drinking habits and irritated you?
G stands for guilt – do you have a sense of guilt about your drinking habits in the back of your mind?
E stands for eye-opener – have you ever felt that you should have a drink first thing in the morning