The line between heavy drinking and alcoholism is not always that easy to determine. Some would say that missing out on school or work occasionally is a reason to stop drinking, while others see it as bad luck in the hazard they play. So we thought it would be fun to try out some of the online tests we found on the web. Lords of the Drinks own Micky Bumbar did it and we encourage you to try them too. Please don’t be afraid to share your scores with us.
The first test we tried is from the Britisch site netdoctor.co.uk. This test gives no score, but just a written advice. In our case, the advise was pretty clear: You are drinking too much and need to change your habits. Return to the previous questions. If your answer was yes in questions 4, 5 or 6, you may well be addicted to alcohol, or about to be. You need to cut down on your drinking – now!
For the record: none of these three questions were answered with a solid yes.
The second test comes from a website called addictionsandrecovery.org. Now there are two tests on this page: a very short one (the CAGE test) and the so called AUDIT test. In the CAGE test we scored a solid 4 out of 4, which means there is a 100% chance Micky has an alcohol addiction.
The AUDIT test is almost impossible to make. In the ends it states: if you scored 8-10 or more, you are probably addicted to alcohol. Micky with 29 points didn’t even come close to the limit.
The third test was from About.com. Here you have 20 questions, all to be answered with yes or no. Sometimes this might be a little difficult since the truth lies somewhere in the grey area. However, this was Micky’s result:
You answered 9 items out of 20 Yes.
Your score is 45%. According to the Office of Health Care Programs, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, developers of this screening quiz, if you answered as few as 3 of these questions with a Yes it is a definite sign that your drinking patterns are harmful and considered alcohol dependent or alcoholic. Since you answered more than 3 questions Yes you should seek an evaluation by a healthcare professional.
Our fourth and final one is another yes or no. At ncadd.org we answered 26 questions and came to a result of 21 points. The advice of the NCADD (National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence): If you answered “yes” to more than 8 questions, you may have a serious level of alcohol-related problems requiring immediate attention and possible treatment. You should seek professional guidance. You should consider contacting the NCADD affiliate office nearest to you. A representative will be happy to assist you in the scheduling of a professional evaluation.
Analyzing the results
After this test we got a basic image and din’t do more tests. Of course these results are to be taken serious. However, we have a few remarks that need to be made. To start with the questions that can only be answered with a yes or no. The way these questions were asked made a huge difference (see the difference in score between the last two). We believe that if you are in the grey area between heavy drinking and alcoholism (if you are not, why make the test right?!) this simple black or white-style of questioning isn’t the right way.
Let assume for example in the past year you had one horrible experience because you were very drunk, you can probably confirm you hurt others or yourself, had a black-out and had loved ones telling you to drink less. Boom! Three points for one night.
Another important point is the culture you grow up in and in what matter the use of alcohol is accepted in this culture. If you have Eastern European or British roots being drunk once in a while is probably more accepted than if you are from Arab origin. This plays a large role in what you answer in questions about your loved ones, but also about yourself feeling guilty.
Also important is to keep in mind who makes this tests. Maybe they are not necessarily against alcohol, but it weren’t probably heavy drinkers themselves. Which gave us a great idea. Expect a test by the Lords of the Drinks pretty soon!