Recognizing alcoholics: 2 questions will help

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 10, 2022
Updated 2022/01/10 at 9:51 PM

Alcohol addiction can come on insidiously. It can develop over months or years. Scientists at the University of Leicester in Great Britain found in a study that with the help of two questions one Alcoholic recognized can be. There are also official self-tests (e.g. from the WHO) that you can carry out online at home. Here is all the information.

Content: Recognize alcoholics

Recognizing alcoholics: The 2 questions

The questions that can be asked to identify alcoholics are:

  1. How often do you drink at least six alcoholic beverages on one occasion?
  2. Has something happened in the past year that you regret because of your alcohol consumption?

The researchers at the University of Leicester in Great Britain found with the help of statistical analyzes that these two questions could identify people with alcohol problems in 87.2 percent of the cases. In addition, people without alcohol problems could be correctly identified in 79.8 percent of the cases. The press office of the university reports.

The answers to the questions could either rule out alcohol problems or reveal potentially excessive or unsafe drinking habits.

Alcohol Consumption in Germany
– 6.7 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 consume alcohol in a form that is hazardous to health
– 1.6 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 are considered to be alcohol dependent (ESA 2018 via Federal Ministry of Health)
The consumption of pure alcohol per capita aged 15 and over was 10.7 liters in 2018. In 1970 it was 14.4 liters (according to German Central Office for Addiction Issues eV)

Particularly important for medical staff

These two questions are particularly relevant for general practitioners. According to the head of the study, Dr. Alex Mitchell, time pressure so that they don’t have much time to ask all patients a long list of questions. Many people with alcohol addiction may not get the help they need.

“Our work shows that asking patients only two questions works relatively well, but those who initially tested positive have to follow a longer questionnaire with four questions,” says Dr. Alex Mitchell. The CAGE test was developed for this.

This is the CAGE test

CAGE is composed as follows:

  • C.ut Down Drinking (reduction)
  • A.nnoyance (annoyance)
  • Guilty (feelings of guilt)
  • opener (pick-me-up)

The following questions should be answered with yes or no:

  • Have you ever thought about drinking less?
  • Have you ever been upset that others criticized you for your alcohol consumption?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever drank alcohol first thing in the morning to stabilize your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

The researchers found that in 90.9 percent of all cases, patients with alcohol problems would be correctly identified if both the short test and the survey were carried out.

WHO alcohol consumption test

It is also possible online to use the so-called A.alcohol Use D.isorders I.dentification Test (AUDIT) to make. The “Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test” was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It contains ten questions.

  1. How often do you drink alcoholic beverages?
  2. If you drink alcohol, how many glasses do you usually drink in a day?
  3. How often do you drink 6 or more glasses of alcohol on one occasion (e.g. dinner, party or event)?
  4. Over the past 12 months, how often have you found that once you have started you cannot stop drinking?
  5. Over the past 12 months, how many times did your drinking prevent you from doing what was expected of you?
  6. Over the past 12 months, how often have you had a first glass of alcohol in the morning to get going after drinking a lot the day before?
  7. In the past 12 months, how often have you felt guilty or remorseful after drinking?
  8. In the past 12 months, how many times have you found it impossible to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
    Have you or anyone else been injured from drinking?
  9. Has a family member, friend, doctor, or other healthcare provider ever expressed concern about your alcohol consumption or suggested that you limit your consumption?
  • Questions 1 to 3 deal with alcohol consumption.
  • Questions 4 to 6 relate to alcohol addiction.
  • Questions 7-10 are about alcohol-related problems.

A value of seven or more for women and eight or more for men indicates a high probability of dangerous or harmful alcohol consumption. It is advisable to speak to your family doctor. A value of 20 or more indicates alcohol dependence. That requires special treatment.

  • You can take the test here on the official WHO website in English do.
  • Here is the test from the Oberberg Kliniken Berlin in German offered.

by the way: You can also take an alcohol self-test on the website Kenn dein Limit from the Federal Center for Health Education. You can take the test here.

More worth knowing about alcohol

Recognizing alcoholics can be a first step towards helping. This is what happens in your body when you stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol is not good for your body, which also shows what happens when you look at what alcohol is doing to your brain cells. A new study now also shows whether your mood really improves when you drink alcohol.

Source: Press Office of the University of Leicester, Federal Ministry of Health, German Central Office for Addiction Issues, World Health Organization (WHO), Oberberg Kliniken, Know your limit

If you are an alcohol addict and are looking for help, you can find hotlines and telephone advice centers here:

  • Addiction and drug hotline (nationwide and around the clock): 01806 313031 (20 cents / call from the landline network, 60 cents / call from the cellular network)
  • BZgA info phone for addiction prevention: 0221 892031 (Price according to the price list of your telephone provider for calls to the German landline network): Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • You can find help online at the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) or Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • At Kenn dein Limit der BZgA there are numerous tips on how you can drink less alcohol (here for the link).

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