Are You Trapped In A C.A.G.E.?

Man behind jail bars

  • Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever felt Annoyed by criticism of your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever felt Guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever taken a morning Eye-opener of alcohol or drugs to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

Research suggests that if you answered ‘YES’ to at least one of the aforementioned questions, there is an 80% chance that you may have an addiction.

Anything in Excess can be Harmful to your Health

  • Did you know that alcoholism is the 3rd leading preventable lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation?
    • Nearly 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes (e.g., alcohol poisoning, driving fatalities, drowning, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, risky sexual behavior, and violence) (CDC, 2014)
  • Did you know that youth initiation of substance use is highest in December, January, April, May, June, and July?
    • Despite 21 being the minimum legal drinking age, approximately 8.7 million (22.7%) persons aged 12-20 years old had consumed alcohol (NSDUH, 2013)
    • In 2014, 6.5% of 8th graders, 16.6% of 10th graders, and 21.2% of 12th graders reported daily use of marijuana (NIDA, 2014)

Substance use among youth is a public health problem, as it increases the risk for physical problems, poor mental health outcomes, social difficulties, and even death.

Take Action Today

Research has shown that effective treatment can improve one’s chances of overcoming addiction.  Some positive preventive actions include:

  • Assessing Risk (e.g., C.A.G.E. Substance Abuse Assessment)
    • Focus:  To access whether one’s substance use has a negative impact on their daily functioning
  • Targeting Prevention Services(e.g., outpatient treatment clinics)
    • Focus:  To identify and utilize protective factors (e.g., parent and other support) as well as provide one with appropriate coping skills to help support a healthy and balanced lifestyle change


For more information, please contact Hillcrest Center at (202) 232-6100 or email us at

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Amelia Hall, M.A.Amelia R. Hall, M.A. is a clinical psychology doctoral student, with a special concentration in diversity and multicultural related issues.

2 Responses to “Are You Trapped In A C.A.G.E.?”

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