What Is the CAGE Test for Substance Abuse? And How is it Used in 2023?
2023 CAGE Screening Tool | Alcohol & CAGE-AID for Alcohol & Drug Use Screening
It’s estimated that alcohol consumption is responsible for 2.8 million premature deaths globally each year. Excess alcohol consumption has been linked to multiple health problems, thus screening for potential alcohol misuse is something that primary care physicians, social workers, and other healthcare providers do regularly, and one of the popular substance abuse assessment tools is the CAGE assessment.
In this article about the CAGE substance abuse questionnaire, we’ve included free CAGE Assessment PDF & Word downloads that you can use, and we are providing you with a detailed overview for using CAGE for substance abuse.
CAGE Alcohol Assessment
The social drinking of alcohol has become widely accepted throughout the world, and the use of beer, wine, and other alcohol doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as the use of other types of mood-altering substances. But this acceptance also makes it easy for people to cross the line from casual drinking to alcoholism.
The CAGE alcohol screening tool is a quick four-question survey that can be used to identify problematic alcohol use and the CAGE criteria is a criteria that can be adjusted to include drug use. The CAGE-AID screening tool is used to identify alcohol or drug use that may be considered substance abuse.
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Table of Contents: CAGE Questions Alcohol & Drug Use Tool
Keep on scrolling down this page to read each section or click any link below to go directly to that section.
- What Is the CAGE Assessment Tool?
- Who Developed the CAGE Tool?
- CAGE Assessment Questions for Alcohol Abuse
- CAGE AID Screening Tool for Alcohol & Drug Abuse
- How to Interpret the Cage Test for Substance Abuse
- Free Downloads: CAGE Screening Tool PDF & CAGE AID Assessment Tool
- Conclusion | CAGE Criteria & Assessment
- FAQ | CAGE Alcohol Assessment & CAGE-AID Screening Tool
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What Is the CAGE Assessment Tool? Why is it Important?
The CAGE substance abuse screening tool is a questionnaire used by clinicians to identify alcohol use disorder. The CAGE test is not designed to diagnose alcoholism, but rather to identify the potential for alcohol abuse that may warrant further assessment and potential treatment.
According to the American Addition Centers, the CAGE drinking assessment is best when given by a clinician, and it’s not recommended for use as a CAGE self assessment for someone to diagnose themselves.
What Does CAGE Stand for in Substance Abuse?
The CAGE assessment meaning comes from the focus of each of the CAGE assessment questions. One letter in the CAGE alcohol assessment acronym is pulled from words in each of the four questions.
“CAGE” in the CAGE alcohol assessment tool stands for:
- Cut down
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All-in-One Client Assessment & Case Management Hub
(for Social Workers, Case Managers, Clinical Workers)
Coming in a few weeks: HIPAA-compliant all-in-one platform to manage your clients, conduct assessments and intakes, and many more. Click here to be notified: https://www.socialworkportal.com/Case-Management-Toolkit/
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Do you have any questions about the CAGE alcohol assessment tool or the acronym CAGE in substance abuse? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
Who Developed the CAGE Tool?
The CAGE addiction assessment was published in 1984 and was developed by Dr. John A. Ewing. Dr. Ewing was the founding Director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Studies have shown that the CAGE assessment for alcohol abuse is most successful when asked as part of a health history. This would be rather than alcohol use being the topic of the conversation preceding asking the CAGE questions for substance abuse, which can cause the patient to become defensive.
The phrasing of the CAGE drug and alcohol assessment can be changed slightly to include the use of drugs, this is known as the CAGE-AID assessment.
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CAGE Assessment Questions for Alcohol Abuse
Following are the questions included in the CAGE test to identify alcohol addiction. The questions are answered “yes” or “no.”
- 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 CAGE assessment for substance abuse is easy to give when taking a health history or doing a psychosocial assessment of a patient. Being that there are just four CAGE test questions, it’s a quick assessment and one that fits naturally into a conversation about the patient’s health/behavior history.
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Do you have any questions about the CAGE substance abuse assessment tool or CAGE questions alcohol or drug focused? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
CAGE AID Screening Tool for Alcohol & Drug Abuse
With a slight adjustment to the CAGE substance abuse questionnaire, the same four questions can also address drug abuse. The CAGE-AID assessment adds the drug component to the questionnaire, enabling it to be used to identify both alcohol and drug addiction.
The phrasing of the questions in this version of the CAGE substance abuse tool is:
- 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)?
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Do you have any questions about the CAGE questionnaire substance abuse test for alcohol and drug addiction? Are you looking for a CAGE alcohol assessment PDF? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
How to Interpret the Cage Test for Substance Abuse
Each of the four questions in the CAGE assessment tool substance abuse screener is typically answered with a “yes” or “no” by the patient. When interpreting the CAGE for substance abuse test, you will score the “yes” answers with a 1 and the “no” answers with a 0.
The total score for the CAGE test is between 0-4. A score of 2 or more is considered clinically significant, in which case counseling or further evaluation by a trained substance abuse professional may be the next step to take.
The scoring and test interpretation for the CAGE-AID assessment is the same as for the CAGE tool.
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Do you have any questions about CAGE questions alcohol addiction scoring or the CAGE criteria for scoring? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
Free Downloads: CAGE Screening Tool PDF & CAGE AID Assessment Tool
Click on the link below to find free downloads for a CAGE screening tool PDF and Word survey that also includes the CAGE-AID screening tool, on page 2.
CAGE Alcohol Assessment &
CAGE-AID Assessment for Alcohol & Drug Use
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Conclusion | CAGE Criteria & Assessment
The CAGE screening tool is widely accepted as a reliable initial screening for potential alcohol use disorder. The four questions focus on key indicators of alcohol abuse and can alert a social worker or primary care physician of a potential substance abuse issue.
The CAGE substance abuse version, CAGE-AID, expands detection to include drug abuse in addition to alcohol abuse. Both of these CAGE assessment tool types are designed for initial detection, not for diagnosis. Following a positive CAGE test score of 2 or higher, further evaluation should be done to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.
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FAQ | CAGE Alcohol Assessment & CAGE-AID Screening Tool
What is a CAGE assessment?
The CAGE substance abuse screening tool is a questionnaire used by clinicians to identify alcohol use disorder.
What is a positive CAGE score?
The CAGE criteria for a positive score would be a total of 2 or higher. This indicates the potential for substance abuse, and further evaluation is recommended.
What is the CAGE questionnaire used to screen for?
The CAGE alcohol screening tool is used to screen for indications of alcohol use disorder. The CAGE-AID assessment is used to screen for both alcohol and drug abuse issues.
How reliable is the CAGE assessment test?
According to the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, the CAGE drinking assessment is a valid tool for detecting alcohol abuse and has high test-retest reliability (0.80-0.95).
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