CAGE: Scoring and interpretation

Download page Download PDF


Ask your patients these four questions and use the scoring method described below to determine if substance abuse exists and needs to be addressed.


Item responses on the CAGE questions are scored 0 for ‘no’ and 1 for ‘yes’ answers, with a higher score being an indication of alcohol problems. A total score of two or greater is considered clinically significant.

The normal cut-off for the CAGE is two positive answers, however, it is recommended that primary care clinicians lower the threshold to one positive answer to cast a wider net and identify more patients who may have substance abuse disorders.

Load Google CDN's jQuery, with a protocol relative URL and local fallback -->