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The CAGE Questions. May 17, 2006

Posted by scan man in medical blogs, random noise.
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Do I have an alcohol problem?

A question that I have been afraid of even thinking out loud.

Because I believe, as does Dr. Crippen, that the very fact that I am asking myself the question is proof that I believe there is a problem.

Dr. Crippen goes on in this excellent, thought-provoking post

If you are asking yourself that question, you probably do have one. But if in doubt, ask yourself the four CAGE questions.

  1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  4. 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?

Two positives and you are in trouble.

Well, here are my answers

  1. Yes.
  2. Only my wife. I don’t think that counts as a full positive, because she also nags me about a lot of other stuff, like my weight, or the shape of my abdomen (I keep telling her that round is a good shape).
  3. No. I wonder if it counts as more than one positive for this question if I have felt guilty about not drinking!
  4. Never.

So…

One definite positive and a partial. I guess I don’t have a problem (yet).

Humour aside, I think Dr. Crippen’s post is great.

The question that bugs me is…

Just how big is the Silent Alcohol Abuse problem in the world?

Is it as big as the Obesity problem? or Bigger?

I am sure we would be shocked by the numbers if some epidemiologists collect the data from different countries just based on responses to the CAGE questions.

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Comments»

1. Moof - May 18, 2006

Hey Dr. Scan Man! I saw this one on Dr. Crippen’s blog too. I’m not saying what I scored on that one! *ack!*

I think the Silent Achohol Abuse problem across the globe is probably dumfounding! So many people trying to comfort themselves … so sad.

Thanks for reiterating the post … made me sit up and take notice …

2. It's me, T.J. - May 18, 2006

Self-assessment has probably got to be the hardest things to do, if you are to do it honestly.

I think that anyone who does do a self-assessment should be commended and encouraged.

You are a brave man.

later…

3. scan man - May 18, 2006

Thanks Moof & TJ.
When I saw this yesterday morning on Dr. Crippen’s blog it was almost epiphanic.
I was nursing a mild hangover after a night of Tequila and Absolut Peppar shots. We were celebrating the change in weather – a sudden thunder storm in the middle of a scorching summer.
On a guilt trip… asking myself did I really need to deal with this in the middle of the week…
It was like the post was addressed to me. I had to make an honest attempt at self-assessment.


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