How to test yourself to alcohol addiction

The CAGE Test

One of the oldest and most popular screening tools for alcohol abuse is the CAGE test, which is a short, four-question test that diagnoses alcohol problems over a lifetime. It asks questions about problems associated with drinking rather than the amount of alcohol consumed.

  • C - Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • A- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • G - Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • E - Eye opener: Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

For each above question you answered 'YES', add 1 point. If you scored 1, there is an 80% chance you’re addicted to alcohol. If you scored 2, that percentage moves up to 89%. With a 3 score, there is a 99% chance you are addicted to alcohol. A score of 4 leaves no room for doubt.

The T-ACE Test

The T-ACE test is also only four questions, including three found on the CAGE test, but it has proved to be more accurate in diagnosing alcohol problems in both men and women.

  • T - Does it take more than three drinks to make you feel high?
  • A - Have you ever been annoyed by people's criticism of your drinking?
  • C - Are you trying to cut down on drinking?
  • E - Have you ever used alcohol as an eye opener in the morning?

Again, "yes" answers to two of these four questions is a very strong (89%) indication of possible alcohol abuse or dependence.

Signs of Addiction

Alcohol addiction is most often hardest to spot by the addicts themselves. People tend to overlook some of the most common signs of alcohol abuse when assessing their own drinking habits. Learning how to test yourself for alcohol addiction is a central part of dealing with potentially dangerous drinking issues. Following are several key factors that all people should consider when attempting to determine if their alcohol use has spiraled out of control.

Dramatic Behavioral Changes

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While counting the number of alcoholic beverages that you indulge in is certainly one way to maintain tabs on your drinking habits, it is not the most effective method for gauging the impact that your alcohol use is having on your life. How you behave, the choices that you make, and the effects of alcohol on your physical health are all important aspects to consider when you believe that your alcohol use may be excessive. People with drinking issues commonly behave far differently when they are intoxicated as opposed to when they are not. Some individuals experience bouts of extreme anger and depression while intoxicated. Others may make drastic decisions and act on them after drinking, only to lose all memory of the events that have transpired.

If you are normally a happy-go-lucky and optimistic individual but find that you have grown to become withdrawn, moody, and depressed while drinking, after drinking, or having been denied a drink, your alcohol use is likely to be the primary cause of these emotional changes. In addition to emotional differences, most people who suffer from alcohol addiction will also notice a constant lowering of their inhibitions. As alcohol begins to take greater and greater precedence in their lives, these individuals may make choices that negatively impact their personal and professional reputations, driving privileges, employment, and families. Recognizing that your drinking is causing you to make choices that you would not ordinarily make is a major part of identifying alcoholism.

The Consequences of Drinking

Normal drinking habits do not typically create undesirable consequences for individuals who are able to imbibe in moderation. For people who drink excessively, however, the consumption of alcoholic beverages can result in severe personal damages and loss. When you believe that your drinking has become excessive it is time to take stock of the losses that alcohol consumption has caused in your life. If your alcohol use has negatively impacted your personal relationships, employment, finances, or physical health, it is definitely time to begin researching the different options in treatment for alcohol addiction.

Family History Is An Important Consideration To Make

One essential consideration to make when testing yourself for alcohol addiction is your family's history of alcohol use and abuse. Alcoholism is commonly treated as a disease that some people are simply more genetically predisposed to than others. If there is a history of alcohol abuse among your family members, it is highly likely that you are susceptible to falling into the same patterns and maybe carrying many of the biological determinants for alcoholism. If you are able and comfortable enough to speak with a family member who has struggled with alcohol abuse in the past, this may help you garner some of the insight that you need to begin addressing your issues with alcohol more aggressively.

How You Respond To Others When Discussing Your Drinking Habits

It is important to gauge your emotions when responding to questions about your drinking habits. People who have drinking problems tend to become defensive and even angry when approached by their loved ones about alcohol-related issues. Recognizing and dealing with feelings of anger and animosity that arise when discussing your drinking habits is an essential part of becoming able to accept the help that you are in need of. People who routinely consume alcohol have the disadvantage of clouded judgment when assessing and analyzing their own drinking habits, patterns, and behaviors. This impaired manner of thinking is often what delays or prevents necessary treatments for alcoholism. Because of this, it can be beneficial for people to carefully consider the opinions and ideas of their loved ones when attempting to identify and deal with this disease. More importantly, the people who are closest to you will be the first to identify the personality and behavioral changes that signify alcohol abuse.

Those who question their own drinking habits commonly do so because they are aware on some level that a drinking problem may be developing or is already in full bloom. Taking the time to consider the effects of alcohol use in your life is a tremendous first step towards health and freedom from addiction.

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