AM I AN ADDICT?


Alcoholism, Addiction Screening Tests

While many of these screening tests and questionnaires are geared toward alcohol addiction/alcoholism, these self-tests can be easily adapted to screen for any type of substance abuse or drug addiction.

For the purposes of these kinds of tests, one drink is the equivalent of:

  • One 12-oz. beer
  • One 12-oz. cooler, "hard" lemonade/tea, or similar malt beverage
  • Five oz. of wine
  • One mixed drink (containing 1.5 oz. of liquor)

Binge drinking is generally defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion.

Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)

The MAST test is a quick, self-scoring questionnaire that helps assess whether one might have a drinking problem. Simply answer yes or no to the following questions:

  • Do you feel you are a normal drinker ("Normal": you drink as much or less than most other people)?
  • Have you ever awakened the morning after drinking the night before and found that you could not remember part of the evening?
  • Does any near relative or close friend ever worry or complain about your drinking?
  • Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
  • Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?
  • Have you ever gotten into physical altercations when drinking?
  • Has drinking ever created problems between you and a near relative or close friend?
  • Has any family member or close friend gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
  • Have you ever lost friends because of your drinking?
  • Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?
  • Have you ever lost a job because of drinking?
  • Have you ever neglected your obligations, your family, or your work for two or more days in a row because you were drinking?
  • Do you drink before noon fairly often?
  • Have you ever been told you have liver trouble, such as an enlarged liver or cirrhosis?
  • After heavy drinking, have you ever had delirium tremens (DTs), severe shaking, visual or auditory (hearing) hallucinations, etc.?
  • Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized because of drinking?
  • Has your drinking ever resulted in your being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward?
  • Have you ever gone to any doctor, social worker, clergy, or mental health clinic for help with any emotional problem for which drinking was part of the problem?
  • Have you been arrested more than once for driving under the influence of alcohol?
  • Have you ever been arrested, even for a few hours because of other behavior while drinking? If yes, how many times?

Scoring for the MAST Test

Please score one point if you answered the following:

1. No
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. No
5. Yes
6. Yes
7 through 22: Yes

Add up the scores and compare to the following:
0-2: No apparent problem
3-5: Early or middle problem drinker
6 or more: Problem drinker

CAGE Test

The CAGE test for alcohol abuse and problem drinking can identify alcohol problems over one's lifetime. Two affirmative responses (yes answers) are considered a positive test and indicate further assessment is warranted.

  • Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?
  • Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

Modified CAGE Test for Drug Addiction

  •  Have you ever felt you should cut down on your use of drugs?
  • Have you ever been annoyed when people have commented on your drug use?
  • Have you ever felt guilty or badly about your drug use?
  • Have you ever used drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms or to avoid feeling low after using drugs?

T-ACE Test

The T-ACE questions (based on the CAGE test) are valuable for identifying a range of use, including lifetime use and prenatal use, based on the DSM–III–R criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence. A score of two points or more is considered positive. Affirmative answers to questions A, C, or E score one point each. Reporting tolerance to more than two drinks (the T question) scores two points.

  • T - Does it take more than three drinks to make you feel high? (Tolerance)
  • A - Have you ever been annoyed by people's criticism of your drinking? (Annoyance)
  • C - Are you trying to cut down on drinking? (Cut down)
  • E - Have you ever used alcohol as an eye opener in the morning? (Eye-opener)

Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST)

The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) was developed in 1982 and remains an excellent screening tool. It is a 28-question screening test paralleling the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST). The DAST has been found to: (1) Be a sensitive screening instrument for the abuse of drugs other than alcohol, and (2) Exhibit valid psychometric properties.

Resources: Alcoholism/addiction screening tests