About the CAGE Questionnaire
The CAGE questionnaire is used by many mental health professionals as a screening test to identify potential alcohol problems.
The questionnaire is quite simple, with only four questions. (1) However, the questionnaire’s simplicity is what makes it so powerful. The questions asked get to the root of the problem quickly, making it clear if your life has been impacted negatively by your drinking. Additionally, the acronym is easy for clinicians to remember, ensuring the screening process is uninterrupted and focused.
The acronym for the CAGE questionnaire stands for the highlighted words in the questionnaire: cutting down, annoyance, guilty feelings and an eye-opener. (1) The questionnaire is widely accepted in the medical community and is frequently used as an alcohol addiction evaluator. The Journal of the Medical American Association (JAMA) first published the questionnaire in 1984. Before this, it had been presented orally in some conferences, but it was JAMA that led to its fame. (2) It saw an immediate wave of adoption by psychologists and mental health professionals as a tool to screen for potential alcohol issues.
The four questions in the CAGE questionnaire ask if you have ever:
- 1. Felt the need to cut down your drinking
- 2. Felt annoyed by criticism of your drinking
- 3. Had guilty feelings about drinking
- 4. Taken a morning eye-opener to steady a hangover or start the day
It’s important to note that the CAGE questionnaire is a screening process and cannot provide a diagnosis on its own. The questionnaire can only highlight to you or the clinician the possibility of a problem.
In the event results indicate an alcohol problem
The UK provides several free services for individuals dealing with addiction covered by the NHS. (3) However, it should be noted that free services typically have long waiting lists. (3) Ask your general practitioner (GP) about local NHS services.
You should consider private alcohol rehab if your situation is urgent and serious. Private rehabilitation centres like Sanctuary Lodge can typically accept clients right away. Additionally, you will receive 24/7 care during your stay, designed to help you feel safe and comfortable as you begin detoxing from alcohol.
Contact Sanctuary Lodge to set up a free consultation today!