Do you ever wonder if you may have a drinking problem?

Doctor walking in snowy scene

As a practitioner, you probably have a preferred screening or diagnostic tool you use with patients to identify whether they’re dealing with an alcohol or drug issue.

One diagnostic tool you may be familiar with is the CAGE questionnaire. Published by John Ewing in 1984 in the Journal of American Medical Association, this simple, effective four-question screening focuses on Cutting down, Annoyance by criticism, Guilty feeling, and Eye-openers.

Many physicians and other health care workers like CAGE as a time saver. Although its lack of depth doesn’t make it appropriate for every situation, it’s been shown to be valid and reliable in detecting alcoholism.

Here are the four questions:

  • C: Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  • A: Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • G: Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  • E: Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

Now we want to ask—have you ever screened yourself using CAGE?

With the holiday season upon us, the burdens of your professional life and challenges in your personal life are compounded. There’s a longer list of to-dos than normal. You wonder how you’re going to get it all done and make it through to next year.

Not only that, but the multitude of holiday parties present situations where it’s easy to drink excessively or fall back into old behaviors to deal with your overloaded schedule.

So, ask yourself the four CAGE questions today. Simply answering yes to any of the questions doesn’t mean you have a Substance Use Disorder. But it may indicate further screening is warranted. Please call us today at 701-751-5090 or complete our online referral form at www.NDPHP.org.

Your privacy and confidentiality is extremely important to us. We keep all voluntary involvement with us strictly confidential.