The C.A.G.E. Test – Are You Alcohol-Dependant?


Accurately identifying alcohol dependency can be difficult, given the way in which each and every case is somewhat different. What constitutes a normal and fully controllable drinking habit for some may be considered dangerous alcohol abuse by others. Even at a professional level, it is difficult to know exactly where to draw the line.

What so many fail to understand is that you don’t need to be on the verge of needing residential rehab advice in Canterbury to be in a position where cutting down or quitting could be beneficial. Quite to the contrary in fact, as evidence suggests that more British adults than ever before have alcohol consumption habits that are considered to be downright dangerous.  Nevertheless, it is up to the individual and the individual alone to determine where the line should be drawn and when/if the time comes to seek professional intervention.

In terms of self-diagnosis, experts never recommend jumping to any conclusions without seeking professional support. Nevertheless, it is often possible to detect when and where a problem is manifesting, using a simple method known as the CAGE test. These four common addiction warning signs are outlined below and should not be overlooked or ignored if detected.

C – Cut Down Attempts Failed

First up comes one of the most common signs of all when it comes to alcohol dependency.  When habits are identified that are detrimental or dangerous, the natural instinctive response is of course to work towards reducing or eliminating them.  However, it isn’t always quite so easy.  Just as is the case with most other examples of drug abuse and addiction, repeated attempts to cut down immediately illustrate the fact that the individual in question has lost control.  And when you have lost control over something that is potentially harmful, this defines the addiction at its core. If you want to cut down but have failed to do so, it could be in your best interests to seek advice as early as possible.

A – Annoyance When Criticised

If you are fully convinced that your drinking habits are normal, of no consequence and do not need to be addressed, you shouldn’t have any concerns with regards to the criticisms of others. After all, you know that you are in the right and they are in the wrong, therefore you have nothing to worry about. By contrast, if any questioning or criticism regarding your drinking habits irritates or angers you in any way, this is a tell-tale sign of dangerous denial. Not only this, but if things have reached a point where your drinking habits and activities are indeed being questioned on a regular basis by other people, this should in its own right set alarm bells ringing.

G – Guilt

Something else that’s common across many different types of addiction is guilt.  Once again, in any instance where an individual is confident that their drinking habits are normal and has no grounds for concern, it is unlikely they will experience feelings of guilt and shame before, during and after the consumption of alcohol.  At the other end of the scale, those who experience these kinds of negative feelings inherently it where alcohol is concerned cannot escape the fact that they may have a problem. The reason being that if you have control over any given situation, you are unlikely to proceed with anything that will reward you negatively.  Which in turn suggests that to continue drinking, despite it only bringing about negative feelings and emotions, confirmed loss of control – aka, addiction.

E- Eye-Openers

Last but not least, millions of adults of all ages will occasionally find themselves turning to the so-called ‘hair of the dog’ the day after a particularly heavy night out. Which despite not being particularly healthy isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to do most people any real harm, when it happens so infrequently.  However, there’s a big difference between these kinds of eye-openers and those that more habitual drinkers become largely dependent on. The simple truth of the matter is that when you find yourself in a situation where you regularly have to consume alcohol simply to function normally, this goes far beyond the realms of safe and control drinking.  Should this be the case, it could be that you have an alcohol problem that should be brought to the attention of the professionals as soon as possible.

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