Recognizing an alcoholic is not easy. According to a study, two questions can help make an addiction more visible. Where those affected can find help.

Alcohol addiction can develop gradually over months or even years. It is not always easy to recognize these. However, researchers at the University of Leicester in Great Britain found in a study that in a first detection step, just two questions could be enough to provide clues about an alcoholic. In addition, there are official self-tests that everyone can do at home.

Researchers at the University of Leicester in Great Britain used statistical analyses to determine that two questions were able to identify people with alcohol problems in 87.2 percent of cases. In addition, people without alcohol problems were correctly identified in 79.8 percent of cases. This was reported by the university’s press office.

The answers to the questions could either rule out alcohol problems or potentially reveal excessive or unsafe drinking habits. The questions that can be asked to identify alcoholics are kept quite simple.

Questions from the study:

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

These two questions are particularly relevant for general practitioners. According to study leader Alex Mitchell, there is a lot of time pressure in primary care, so they don’t have much time to ask all patients a long list of questions. Many people with alcohol addiction may not be able to get the help they need.

“Our work shows that asking only two questions to patients works relatively well, but for those who initially test positive, a longer questionnaire with four questions must be followed,” says Alex Mitchell.

The so-called CAGE test was developed for this purpose. Four questions should be answered yes or no:

The researchers found that patients with alcohol problems were correctly identified 90.9 percent of the time when both the short test and the survey were administered. Above all, this is a good help in excluding people.

“This means that potentially all patients who see their GP could be screened for alcohol problems in a relatively short space of time, with a high level of accuracy, particularly in identifying those who do not require intervention.”

It is also possible to take the so-called Alcohol Use Disorders Identification T est (AUDIT) online. The “Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test” was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). In total, it contains ten questions that provide information about your own behavior.

AUDIT questions:

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. This requires special treatment.

Possible online tests:

By the way: You can also do an alcohol self-test on the “Know your limit” website from the Federal Center for Health Education. Click here for the test.

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The original for this article “Alcoholic? These two questions give it away” comes from