Types Of Alcoholism Assessments
Are you wondering if your drinking has become a problem? Are you worried you’ve crossed the line from casual drinking to heavy alcohol use? It’s good to take some time and assess your alcohol use. By recognizing your drinking patterns, you can take the necessary strategies to help minimize its impact. Here, you can find out more about the different types of alcoholism assessments that can help.
What Is Dual Diagnosis? What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Alcoholism?
A mental health expert or primary care physician can suggest screening for alcohol use. A mental health expert specializes in treating and diagnosing psychological complications. Some can also alleviate alcohol use disorder.
Various alcoholism assessment tools exist that can help evaluate your drinking habits. Each is packed with a series of questions. Experts will use these tests to get a better perspective of how drinking is affecting your life. The go-to alcohol screening tools include:
AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) –
This test for alcohol abuse features 10 multi-choice questions. These questions evaluate the extent of the addiction or drinking habit. You will be asked how much and how often you are drinking. Including whether you experience any alcohol-related reactions or complications. You will then receive a score based on the provided answers. If the score is 8 or higher, it could be a clear indicator of alcohol use disorder. (1)
CAGE (Cut Down Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-Opener) –
CAGE is a simplified version with “yes” or “no” answers. This is a self-guided alcohol assessment tool capable of determining if your drinking is a problem. If this self-screening shows a high chance of unhealthy alcohol use, talk to a specialist.
CAGE (Cut Down Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-Opener) –
This is a shorter version of AUDIT, featuring 3 multiple-choice questions. Every answer during this screening and assessment is valued from 0 to 4 points. The higher the points, the bigger the odds of having alcohol use disorder.
Other alcoholism assessment tools include T-ACE and SBI. T-ACE is a test quite like the CAGE assessment tool. This one, however, is tailored toward pregnant women and has “yes” or “no” questions. For brief interventions, the SBI tools can help.
This is another “yes” or “no” question test that can show if you are vulnerable to a severe drinking problem. Two or more “yes” answers with these assessment tools, could be a probable indicator of alcohol use disorder. (2)
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What Is The CAGE Assessment?
The CAGE questionnaire is a preliminary test meant to tell if the patient has an alcohol abuse problem. This test is not meant to be utilized as a self-diagnosing tool. It’s best to talk to a clinician to know if you have serious drinking problems.
Depending on your answers, the doctor can suggest you get evaluated by a psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist. That way, you can obtain an efficient treatment plan. The treatment, however, will vary based on your psychological health, medical history, and alcohol use.
In other words, the CAGE test is meant to be used as a preliminary assessment, not a formal diagnosis. To get formally diagnosed with alcohol addiction, dependence, or abuse, talk to a specialist. Experts can evaluate your health state and offer the best quality treatment. (3)
What Are The 4 Cage Questions?
To determine the extent of the alcohol abuse, patients are asked the following “yes” or “no” questions:
- Do you ever feel the need to cut back on drinking?
- Do you feel annoyed or agitated when others criticize your drinking?
- Do you feel guilty or bad about drinking too much?
- Do you ever feel the need to grab a drink in the morning to calm the nerves or deal with a hangover?
The more “yes” answers there are, the higher the chance of the patient having alcohol problems. A score of 2 or higher is regarded as clinically significant. (4)
What Is The MAST Assessment Tool?
The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test is another questionnaire designed to help patients assess if they have a drinking issue. You get 25 “yes” or “no” questions related to past alcohol-induced incidents. Each question provides a set number of points, that is later used to provide a MAST score. It’s critical to answer these questions truthfully.
A MAST score of 0-3 is regarded as non-problematic. Whereas a 4 score is seen as a mid/early alcohol drinking problem. Those with a score of 5 or over, are viewed as having severe alcohol dependence. This is a practical tool for helping patients open up about their drinking problems and commence treatment. (5)
What Do The Results Mean?
If the assessment tools show you might have alcohol use disorder, then it’s important to evaluate the severity of the problem. Depending on the results, you could be dealing with mild, moderate, or severe alcohol use disorder
Patients with a mild drinking problem have a pattern that can be easily readjusted. Their drinking isn’t considered too hazardous. But, ignoring the problem could pave the way for bigger health risks down the line. Particularly if the mild drinking has turned into a moderate drinking problem
If the test results show moderate drinking, then treatment and brief intervention is necessary. It’s critical to unlearn this habit so that you can lead a healthier life. However, when the results show severe alcohol use, then intensive treatment approaches can be useful.
That means, talking to a specialist, going to support groups, and alcohol recovery problems. Some patients also need to take adequate medication. Especially if their drinking has damaged their overall health or organs.
Based on the impact and severity of the disorder, experts can suggest long-term or brief counseling. Talk to a specialist who can tailor alcohol use disorder treatment to your needs. To curb the alcohol cravings, doctors can also suggest a medicine-assisted treatment
Medicines are meant to help patients overcome the need to consume more alcohol and stop their drinking habits. Mutual sobriety support found in support groups can also come in handy. Patients can obtain some valuable knowledge and insight that can help them recover.
If you need any screening, test, or assessment tool, talk to an expert. You should consult a qualified specialist to get an accurate reading and a proper diagnosis.