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Am I an Alcoholic?

The Johns Hopkins 20 Questions

am i an alcoholic
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One of the most common questionnaires for the layman who want to know if they are an alcoholic is what is called the Johns Hopkins Twenty Questions.  This questionnaire isn’t actually a clinical assessment or tool used within the medical field, it is just a basic tool for someone to use to answer the question “Am i an alcoholic?”.

The Johns Hopkins “Twenty Questions: Are You An Alcoholic?” was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Robert Seliger, who at that time was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was intended for use as a self-assessment questionnaire to determine the extent of one’s alcohol use. It was not intended to be used by professionals as a screening tool to help them formulate a diagnosis of alcoholism in their patients.  This questionnaire at any of the Johns Hopkins substance abuse treatment programs. To the best of our knowledge, there have never been any reliable or validated studies conducted using the Hopkins Twenty Questions. It is advised to consider using other instruments such as the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test or the CAGE – both of which have proven reliability and validity as reported in the scientific literature.”  The following questions should answer the question “Am I an alcoholic?”.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to your drinking?
  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
  6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking?
  7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
  8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
  14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
  15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?
  16. Do you drink alone?
  17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your drinking?
  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
  20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
  • If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be an alcoholic.
  • If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.
  • If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.

So, the questions should be attributed to Dr. Robert Seliger of Johns Hopkins (in the 1930s), not to Johns Hopkins itself as they no longer advocate their use.


Intervention Services can guide, educate or be a resource to you, the one who is reaching out.  Essentially, Intervention Services is on hand 24 hours a day to help you to help your loved one who may be abusing drugs or alcohol.  If you have questions or need to speak with someone, understand that most of our employees are  recovering professionals who can speak with you as someone who once abused drugs themselves.

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