Are you an Alcoholic? Take the Tests Doctor’s Use for Diagnosis
Alcoholism has many different meanings. Broadly speaking, an alcoholic continues to drink even though it’s having a negative impact on his or her life. Whether or not you want to classify yourself as an alcoholic, it’s good to know if you are clinically one.
Doctors use a wide array of tests to diagnose alcoholism; some work some don’t. Certain tests tend to work for specific parts of the population (like middle aged men), and fail miserably for others (like college students). It’s all about finding the right test for you.
The CAGE Test
The CAGE test is the most widely used, physician accepted alcohol dependence test. However, it’s only useful for a specific segment of the population.
Scoring and Interpretation: No = 0 Yes = 1. The higher your score, the higher your probability of being an alcoholic; where a score of 2 or higher is clinically significant.
The CUGE Test
Because the CAGE test doesn’t show statistically significant results for college students, researchers developed the CUGE test. There is only one question that’s different, but it’s apparently very important.
> The CUGE test showed a statistically significant correlation (0.96) for alcoholism in college students.
Scoring and Interpretation: No = 0 Yes = 1. Like the CAGE test, the higher your score, the higher your probability of being an alcoholic; where a score of 2 or higher is clinically significant.
The T-ACE Test
The T-ACE test is very similar to the CAGE test; in fact, it is only different by one question.
Scoring and Interpretation: A positive response to two of the questions is considered clinically significant for alcohol abuse or dependence.
The AUDIT Test
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was developed by the World Heath Organization to help doctors diagnose alcoholism or potential for dangerous alcohol abuse.
Scoring and Interpretation: Because the AUDIT test is more complicated, scoring and diagnosis tends to reveal more about the potential for alcohol abuse.
- Score of 8 – 15: Doctors are advised to give advice focused on the reduction of hazardous drinking.
- Score of 16 -19: Doctors should suggest counseling and to continue to monitor patient.
- Score of 20 or higher: Doctors are advised that patient is in danger for alcohol dependence.
- A score of 1 or more on Q2 or Q3 indicates consumption at a hazardous level.
- Any points scored on Q7 – Q10 indicate that alcohol related harm is already being experienced.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what a doctor, or your friends, or your family thinks it’s all about what you think. If you think or feel you’re an alcoholic, then you are, and it’s time to get help. No drug is worth messing up your life over.