Alcoholism screening On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Alcoholism screening
Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Multiple tools are available to those wishing to conduct screening for alcoholism. Identification of alcoholism may be difficult because there is no detectable physiologic difference between a person who drinks frequently and a person with the condition. Identification involves an objective assessment regarding the damage that imbibing alcohol does to the drinker's life compared to the subjective benefits the drinker perceives from consuming alcohol. While there are many cases where an alcoholic's life has been significantly and obviously damaged, there are always borderline cases that can be difficult to classify.
Addiction Medicine specialists have extensive training with respect to diagnosing and treating patients with alcoholism.
Several tools may be used to detect a loss of control of alcohol use. These tools are mostly self reports in questionnaire form. Another common theme is a score or tally that sums up the general severity of alcohol use.
- The CAGE questionnaire, named for its four questions, is one such example that may be used to screen patients quickly in a doctor's office.
Two "yes" responses indicate that the respondent should be investigated further.
The questionnaire asks the following questions:
- The CAGE questionnaire, among others, has been extensively validated for use in identifying alcoholism. It is not valid for diagnosis of other substance use disorders, although somewhat modified versions of the CAGE are frequently implemented for such a purpose.
- The Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire is a more sensitive diagnostic test than the CAGE test. It helps distinguish a diagnosis of alcohol dependence from one of heavy alcohol use.
- The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) is a screening tool for alcoholism widely used by courts to determine the appropriate sentencing for people convicted of alcohol-related offenses, driving under the influence being the most common.
- The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a screening questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization. This test is unique in that it has been validated in six countries and is used internationally. Like the CAGE questionnaire, it uses a simple set of questions - a high score earning a deeper investigation.
- The Paddington Alcohol Test (PAT) was designed to screen for alcohol related problems amongst those attending Accident and Emergency departments. It concords well with the AUDIT questionnaire but is administered in a fifth of the time.
- ↑ Ewing, John A. “Detecting Alcoholism: The CAGE Questionnaire” JAMA 252: 1905-1907, 1984
- ↑ CAGE Questionnaire (PDF)
- ↑ Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire (SADD)
- ↑ Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)
- ↑ AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Care
- ↑ Smith, SG (Sep 1996). "Detection of alcohol misusing patients in accident and emergency departments: the Paddington alcohol test (PAT)". Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine. British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine. 13 (5): 308–312. Retrieved 2006-11-19. Unknown parameter