How is alcoholism diagnosed?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of an alcohol problem is best made by the history. Screening instruments for alcohol problems include the CAGE ([need to] cut down [on drinking], annoyance, guilt [about drinking], [need for] eye-opener) questionnaire and the AUDIT (alcohol use disorders identification test). The CAGE questions should be given face-to-face, whereas AUDIT can be given as a paper-and-pencil test.


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