CAGE Questionnaire (4 Questions to Screen for Alcoholism)
What is the CAGE Assessment?
The CAGE questionnaire is a 4-question screening tool that clinicians may use to help in the diagnosis of alcoholism. CAGE is an acronym for the focus of the questions.
- C – Cutting Down
- A – Annoyance by Criticism
- G – Guilty Feeling
- E – Eye-openers
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How Should I Use the CAGE Assessment?
A clinician may use it as a screening tool in a primary care setting. The CAGE test should not be used to self-diagnose.
The CAGE Questionnaire Questions (CAGE & CAGE-AID)
Each of the 4 questions of the CAGE questionnaire can be answered with a simple yes or no response.
- 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)?
The questions may also be modified to include drug use terms. The modified version is called CAGE questions adapted to Include Drug Use or CAGE-AID. The following are the CAGE-AID questions.
- Have you ever felt you ought to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
- Have you felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use?
- Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?
How is the CAGE Assessment Scored?
Each “no” answer is given a 0 and each “yes” answer is given a 1. If the total sum of the scores for the questions is greater, it may indicate an alcohol use issue. A total score of 2 or higher is considered clinically significant.
How Should I Use My CAGE Results?
As mentioned earlier, this test alone should not be used to self-diagnose a problem and the appropriate professional should help you to understand your results. If you believe you or someone you love may be dealing with issues in relation to alcohol or drug addiction and abuse, call us at If you believe you need treatment and want to know whether insurance is able to cover all or part of the cost of treatment, find out instantly below.
- Ewing, J.A. (1984). Detecting alcoholism: The CAGE questionnaire. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 252, 1905–1907.
- Brown RL, Rounds LA. Conjoint screening questionnaires for alcohol and other drug abuse: criterion validity in a primary care practice. Wis Med J. 1995;94:135-40.