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Do you have a drinking problem?


reviewed 9/18/2018

Alcohol assessment

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that taking the following short quiz called the "CAGE test" can help you find out if you have a drinking problem.

Note: This assessment is not intended to be a substitute for a visit with your healthcare provider.

  1. Have you ever felt the need to cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have you ever felt annoyed by someone criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever felt the need for an eye-opener—a drink first thing in the morning?

Results

If you answered "no" to all four questions, you probably do not have a problem with alcohol.

If you answered "yes" to one question, it's possible that you have an alcohol abuse disorder.

If you answered "yes" to two or more questions, it is highly likely that you have a problem with alcohol.

However, a screening tool such as this is no substitute for a professional diagnosis. It's important that you talk to your healthcare provider right away about your drinking habits and your answers to these questions. Your provider can help you determine if you have a drinking problem and, if so, how to treat it.

Where to find help

Accepting that you may have a problem with alcohol is a big step. It may not be easy, but seeking help is the best thing to do for your health. Remember, the sooner you get help, the better your chances are for a successful recovery.

For help giving up alcohol, talk with your healthcare provider.

You can also learn more in the Alcohol Abuse health topic center

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