Online Tests for Addiction: Do they work?

BlogArticlesOnline Tests for Addiction: Do they work?

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Testing 1, 2, 3

Can an online test tell you whether you have an addiction or not?

Do you have an addiction? That can be a tough question to answer. A lot of people drink alcohol but they aren’t necessarily alcoholics. Many people do drugs of all sorts, but then they just stop. Many people have had disturbing experiences with both drugs and alcohol. Does that mean they’re headed for rehab? What makes something a potentially dangerous addiction? Maybe I just like to have a few drinks once in a while? Perhaps I just experiment with drugs? How do you know when you really need to make the call?

There’s a plethora of tests on the internet which will tell you in a matter of minutes whether you’re an addict or not. In fact what’s amazing is the number of kinds of tests there are. Some are short. Some are long. Some give you points. Some instantly declare you an addict.Should you take them. Why not? They’re not legally binding, and at least you’ll be closer to an answer. It might offer relief either way. Here’s one of the quickest to know if you have a drinking problem, according to one online test.

HelpGuide, an online help guide run by non-profit health organization, has a very simple test for alcoholism. It has six questions. Here they are:

"You may have a drinking problem if you

  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
  • Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
  • Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
  • Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
  • "Black out" or forget what you did while you were drinking.
  • Regularly drink more than you intended to."

There is also the Cage Test for Alcoholism. The Cage test is dramatic, as it is designed to quickly determine if a person has a real drinking problem. It goes like this:

The CAGE Test for Alcohol Addiction

This simple test is surprisingly accurate. Answer yes or no to each question.(1)

  • Have you ever thought you should Cut down your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt Annoyed when people have commented on your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had an Eye opener first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

This is how you score the CageTest. Figure out your score here. Score one point for each yes answer.

  • If you scored 1, there is an 80% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
  • If you scored 2, there is an 89% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
  • If you scored 3, there is a 99% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
  • If you scored 4, there is a 100% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.

Tests for drug addiction are often more complicated due to the complexity of factors.

But the Narcotics Anonymous Test for Addiction begins with a question that applies equally to drinkers and drug addicts. It begins with the simple powerful question:

Do you ever use alone?

But how accurate are online drug and alcohol tests. Many claim to be very accurate. The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The test claims it correctly classifies 95% of people into either alcoholics or non-alcoholics.

While many tests tout a high accuracy rate, the rates are disputed. Sometimes it helps to understand the thinking behind the tests. In an article on Psychology Today Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.,writes that addiction has fairly distinct broad signs.

His first sign is “Importance.” That has to do with the role a substance or substances takes precedence in your life.

"How important has it become to your sense of self and the way you live your life?” he writes.” You can determine importance not only by how much you’re doing it, but also by how much you’re not doing other things."

His second sign is "Prevalence.

Jantz writes:

Prevalence: Do you find yourself doing it more often and for longer periods of time than you originally planned? This is the never-enough compulsion. If you feel compelled to say, "Just a little bit more," all the time that’s a sign of addiction.

He believes tension around stopping use of a substance is a key indicator, or what Jantz calls cessation.

"Do you feel anxious or uncomfortable if you cannot do it or if you just think about not doing it? The higher the level of panic and pain you anticipate, the stronger the hold they have on you.”

Another key sign is reverting, which is essentially early relapse behaviour. The way you revert to using a substance can be very revealing.

"Reverting: Do you often say to yourself you’re going to do something different but then turn around and keep doing the same thing—or doing it even more?"

That form of reverting is often a key sign of addiction.

According to Jantz is you are showing these signs, you likely have an addiction issue and you don’t need any special test.

The truth is people are different. And people may respond somewhat differently to addictive substances. But the reality is that addiction levels the playing field. As addictions progress, people who are addicted behave in more similar ways. They use alone. The substances increasingly control their lives. They must work harder to manage the negative effects. And the often regret the impact of the substances on their lives.

Tests may be useful. No one wants to be an addict and it’s not an easy thing to admit. So if a test tells you to seek help and you do, that could be the best outcome.

If you are seeking more information about treatment options for substance use disorders please reach out, we have compassionate and knowlegeable people ready to answer your questions. Send us a message today

Online Tests for Addiction: Do they work?