The CAGE is a brief, 4-item questionnaire used for the routine and rapid screening of alcohol problems. The term “CAGE” is an acronym with each letter representing one of the four items in the measure (Feeling the need to Cutdown, Becoming Annoyed at criticism, Feeling Guilty, Needing a drink first thing in the morning to get going, Eye-Opener).

The CAGE-C is a modified version of the CAGE developed specifically for college students. The CAGE-C consists of 5 questions: two items from the original CAGE along with three alcohol use quantity-frequency questions.


The CAGE consists of 4 questions, to which participants answer either yes or no.


Item responses on the CAGE is scored 0 or 1. A higher score is an indication of alcohol problems. A total score of 2 or greater is considered clinically significant.


CAGE Questionnaire

CAGE R Scoring Syntax file

CAGE SPSS Scoring Syntax file


Mayfield, D.; McLeod, G.; and Hall, P. (1974). The CAGE questionnaire: Validation of a new alcoholism instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 131,1121-1123.

Heck, Edward J., Lichtenberg, James W. (1990). Validity of the CAGE in Screening for Problem Drinking in College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 359-364.

Heck, Edward J. (1991). Developing a Screening Questionnaire for Problem Drinking in College Students. Journal of American College Health, 39, 227-231.