The C.A.G.E. assessment is a preliminary tool used by clinicians in screening for alcohol or drug addiction. The evaluation is based on a simple questionnaire consisting of four questions. In fact, C.A.G.E. is an acronym that stands for the following subjects of the four questions that comprise the test that is used for the assessment:
C – Cutting down on alcohol use
A – Annoyance from criticism about alcohol use
G – Guilt feelings about alcohol use
E – Eye-opening by having a drink in the morning to overcome a hangover
How the CAGE Test is Used
The CAGE test for preliminary profiling is not designed for use to self-diagnose a drug or alcohol problem. Licensed clinicians use the test as a helpful screening tool. Only such a healthcare professional has the expertise to diagnose an alcohol problem that can be used to prescribe a treatment program.
The Four CAGE Test Questions
Below are the four universally used questions that make up the CAGE questionnaire. People respond “Yes” or “No.”
The test can be modified for use in either drug or alcohol use assessments. For the alcohol questionnaire, the test administrator inserts the word “drinking,” as we have done below for the purpose of our example. For the drug use questionnaire, the tester instead inserts the words “drug use.”
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?
How is the CAGE Test Score Calculated?
For each “Yes” answer, 1 point is added to the total score, and for each “No” answer, 0 points are added. A total of 2 points or above for the total score is evaluated as significant and a possible indicator of an alcohol problem.
What Should I Do With My CAGE Test Results?
The CAGE test should not be considered a conclusive test for the diagnosis of an alcohol problem, and it is not meant for self-assessment. It is designed for use with other evaluative processes employed by treatment specialists.
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.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery
Renaissance Recovery Center in Gilbert, Arizona, offers three levels of addiction treatment programs:
- Partial Hospitalization for more intensive inpatient needs.
- Outpatient Alcohol Rehab that enables you to live at home during treatment.
- Dual Diagnosis Programs for treatment of co-occurring disorders.
- Aftercare Program support for relapse prevention.
One-size-fits-all treatment programs for individuals are not as effective as a personalized treatment plan. We design a customized program to meet your specific needs, and we focus on the underlying causes of addiction, not just on stopping substance abuse.
We can accept most health insurance, and we can confirm your coverage for the treatment program at Renaissance with your insurance company for you.