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What Are the Signs of a Problem?

Alcohol - Getting the Facts

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Updated February 14, 2014

How can you tell whether you, or someone close to you, may have a drinking problem? Answering the following four questions can help you find out. (To help remember these questions, note that the first letter of a key word in each of the four questions spells "CAGE.")

  • 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 to get rid of a hangover (Eye opener)?
One "yes" response suggests a possible alcohol problem. If you responded "yes" to more than one question, it is highly likely that a problem exists.

Not convinced? Take this more extensive Alcohol Abuse Screening Quiz.

In either case, it is important that you see your doctor or other health care provider right away to discuss your responses to these questions. He or she can help you determine whether you have a drinking problem and, if so, recommend the best course of action for you.

Even if you answered "no" to all of the above questions, if you are encountering drinking-related problems with your job, relationships, health, or with the law, you should still seek professional help.

The effects of alcohol abuse can be extremely serious -- even fatal -- both to you and to others.

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