What is an Alcohol Self Assessment Test? How it Can Help You?

An assessment test is a simple battery of questions about alcoholism that will help you determine if you have a drinking problem, or worse. These tests can be found on a number of websites as well as in many healthcare facilities. Often, they are comprised of simple yes/no items and you can complete the whole thing in a few minutes. Though they are not to be mistaken for a full diagnosis of any mental health disorder, if your responses indicate a drinking problem, then you should probably consider investigating the matter further. Taking an assessment is often the first step on the road to recovery.

Alcohol Use Disorder Assessments

There are many different assessment tests for alcohol use disorder. They are all intended to provide the taker with a quick overview of his or her drinking issues. Two of the most prominent tests are the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST). The AUDIT test is a ten-item battery that comes in two forms: a self-assessment and a practitioner-administered version. MAST has one version that is comprised of 25 items that can be administered by oneself or in an interview setting.

Are You Addicted to Alcohol?

If you are having difficulties related to drinking, or if your friends or family have mentioned that you might want to quit or cut down your drinking, it's time to take an assessment. Remember that there is no shame in an addiction. However, if you do have a problem, you should find out and address it as soon as possible. These tests are a tool and are not designed to replace getting medical help from a professional. It is not designed to provide you with medical advice in any way and is designed for informational purposes.

What’s the Difference Between the AUDIT and the MAST Tests?

When problem drinkers or drug users begin to have questions about their use and whether or not they have a problem, it's easy to find a self-assessment test online or from an addiction counselor. It's also possible to use the tests to evaluate the observed behavior of a family member or other loved one. There are two primary tests, the AUDIT and MAST tests.

The AUDIT test is a 10-item questionnaire that takes mere minutes to complete. For mental health practitioners who feel that 10 questions take too long or have a patient who may not be willing to answer all the questions, there is a three-item version. However, most people can use the AUDIT to evaluate themselves or a loved one. Though the test is brief, it has a terrific rate of success both when self-administered and when used by a third party to answer questions about the addict or alcoholic.

The MAST tool is likewise effective. The primary difference between the MAST and AUDIT test is the length. MAST is a 25-item evaluation that can be cumbersome for first responders in a hospital or family members in a home setting. It's also less useful when used by a family member or loved one close to the problem drinker and user. Nevertheless, if a family member who finds that their loved one scores significantly high on the test, they can safely assume that more investigation is warranted.

Both of these tests are available online. Some versions are in the form of a PDF, which can be printed and self-scored. There are also versions that can be filled out on the web page and which are automatically scored. Concerned individuals can print out the test or share a link with someone they suspect of having a drinking problem or another friend who is struggling with a loved one in their life. The results can be shared with an addiction professional or used in an intervention.

Choose Between Two Quizzes
Both Developed for Clinical Screening:

This is a big question with no easy answers. Both problem drinkers and alcoholics have found that alcohol plays a negative role in their lives. It can cause difficulties that include, but are far from limited to relationship dysfunction, job loss, and social embarrassment. Yet, what is the difference and how do you know which applies?

First off, both the problem drinker and the alcoholic need to address their drinking. However, the problem drinker should have an easier time of it. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous addresses this very issue. It asserts that problem drinkers are able to stop or moderate their drinking for a sufficient reason, such as health or to keep a job. Problem drinkers are also able to moderate their intake if the situation requires it. Thus, they might appear to be mild or moderate drinkers at the office party, and they might even refrain from drinking when they don't have a safe ride home. However, once they are free of external restraints, they will drink to their heart's content.

Alcoholics, on the other hand, have been known to drink until they breathe their last breath. They will cry out for a drink, though booze has sent them to their deathbed. Alcoholics also find that once they start drinking, they are incapable of stopping. As the Big Book describes the alcoholic, "he is seldom mildly intoxicated."

One way to tell if you are a problem drinker or an alcoholic is when you try to stop drinking. Or, in the words of the Big Book, attempt to "drink like a gentleman." Though that language is antiquated, the authors mean that, if you are able to drink a moderate amount and then stop, you are probably not an alcoholic. Likewise, if you pledge to stop drinking for a period of time, such as a month, you can fulfill that pledge if your drinking has not yet crossed a certain line. Keep in mind that these informal assessments demand that you be rigorously honest with yourself. That's because, if you are still craving and obsessing over alcohol after you drained the evening's last glass, you might have a deeper problem.

  • Financial Problems: As one's alcoholic problem increases, so does the bar tab. Alcoholics might have a difficult time managing credit cards or making mortgage payments in a timely manner. It's not uncommon for an alcoholic to drink away a paycheck rather than meet their financial obligations.
  • Financial Problems: Alcoholics frequently run afoul of the law. Many will find themselves jailed for drinking and driving, but they can also be jailed for disorderly conduct, fighting, or domestic disturbances.
  • Job Loss: Drinking problems often lead to problems on the job. Alcohol can result in excessive tardiness or frequent call-offs from work. Heavy drinkers and alcoholics are often changing jobs for reasons that might not don't make sense.
  • Health Problems: Alcohol negatively impacts every single system in the body. Thus, it is no wonder that alcoholics are often falling ill. Gastrointestinal distress, liver problems, high blood pressure, and frequent accidents are just a few physical ailments incurred as a direct result of drinking.
  • Obsessed with Drinking: An obsession with drinking can not only interfere with one's life, it can also be a key factor in one's illness. If you cannot stop thinking about drinking, it is likely that you have a problem.
  • Prioritizes Drinking over Other Activities: Though it may seem absurd to some, alcoholics will often choose to drink rather than participate in non-drinking activities. In fact, many cannot understand the point of an activity unless it involves drinking.
  • Increasing Tolerance: Moderate drinkers are usually satisfied with the same amount of alcohol night after night, for years. If you need ever more drinks to attain your desired effect, then your drinking is entering a danger zone.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal is a key indicator of an addictive disorder. If you find that you need a drink to feel normal or to end unpleasant effects such as a tremor in your hands, your drinking is probably out of control.
  • Can't Quit: Alcoholics are often a morose, regretful lot. If you find that you cannot stick to a morning-after pledge to quit drinking, you are indeed in a problematic state.
  • Lack of Pleasure without Drinking: For the alcoholic, life is not worth living without a few drinks. If you are unable to enjoy your leisure time without drinking, you need to assess yourself.
  • Relationship Problems: Though alcohol is often a key element in courtship, it can just as easily be a tremendous detriment. If drinking is standing in the way of you and a satisfactory relationship, it’s probably time to stop.
  • Excessive Drinking Despite Imminent Consequences: Despite having an important meeting in the morning, many alcoholics will still close down the bar, or otherwise drink themselves into a state of complete intoxication.
  • Cyclical Depression: Though it is a depressant, alcohol can provide temporary relief from depression. However, the next day the depression will return two-fold, or worse. Alcoholics often continue this downward spiral for years.
  • Gastrointestinal Distress: Alcohol negatively impacts every system in the human body. One of the first signs of problem drinking manifests in the gut. Frequent diarrhea after drinking is a sign that your body needs a break from booze.

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