Michigan Alcohol Screening Test - Geriatric

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : September 18, 
| 4 Sources

The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test-Geriatric Version (or MAST-G) is a 24 question test often used by Mental Health Professionals to gauge the severity of someone’s alcohol dependence. It was designed for individuals who are 65 and older.

It is specifically tailored for those over 65 years of age and the questions take into account the special needs of alcoholism and the elderly. For more on the signs of alcoholism, you can click the link.

These needs may include medical problems that may not be present in younger people with drinking problems and differences in social and employment situations.

Remember the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test is merely a guide and as such cannot replace the advice of a trained medical professional. As always, if you find yourself concerned about your drinking behaviors, please consult with your General Physician.

The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test - Geriatric Version

Answer ALL the questions with yes or no, then click on the 'Get Result' button:

1. After drinking have you ever noticed an increase in your heart rate or beating in your chest?
Yes No

2. When talking with others do you ever underestimate how much you actually drink?
Yes No

3. Does alcohol make you sleepy so that you often fall asleep in your chair?
Yes No

4. After a few drinks,have you sometimes not eaten, or skipped a meal because you didn't feel hungry?
Yes No

5. Does having a few drinks help decrease your shakiness or tremors?
Yes No

6. Does alcohol sometimes make it hard for you to remember parts of the day or night?
Yes No

7. Do you have rules for yourself that you won't drink before a certain time of the day?
Yes No

8. Have you lost interest in hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy?
Yes No

9. When you wake up in the morning do you ever have trouble remembering parts of the night before?
Yes No

10. Does a drink help you sleep?
Yes No

11. Do you hide your alcohol bottles from family members?
Yes No

12. After a social gathering have you ever felt embarrassed because you drank too much?
Yes No

13. Have you ever been concerned that drinking might be harmful to your health?
Yes No

14. Do you like to end the evening with a night cap?
Yes No

15. Did you find that your drinking increased after someone close to you died?
Yes No

16. In general, would you prefer to have a few drinks at home rather than go out to social events?
Yes No

17. Are you drinking more now than in the past?
Yes No

18. Do you usually take a drink to relax or calm your nerves?
Yes No

19. Do you drink to take your mind off of your problems?
Yes No

20. Have you ever increased your drinking after experiencing a loss in your life?
Yes No

21. Do you sometimes drive when you have had too much to drink?
Yes No

22. Has a doctor or nurse ever said they were worried or concerned about your drinking?
Yes No

23. Have you ever made rules to manage your drinking?
Yes No

24. When you feel lonely does having a drink help?
Yes No

Analyzing the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test:

-More than five positive answers in this test is indicative of alcoholism.

-Also, questions 8, 19, and 20 are each considered indicators of alcoholism if answered positive.

Michigan Alcohol Screening Test
What To Do Now?

If you have scored 5 or more in the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test-Geriatric Version, or you are worried about your alcohol consumption then it can be helpful to be aware of your options and resources available to you.

Some individuals feel more comfortable beginning the discussion about their concerns with their General Physician due to having a pre-existing relationship and rapport with this doctor. Your doctor would be able to listen to your concerns, and highlight anything that is worrisome or concerning.

Another option would be to meet with a Mental Health Professional, such as an Addiction Counselor. This would likely involve an intake session which usually explores your emotional and physical history which would include drinking behaviors. After their assessment, they can discuss treatment options that would be appropriate for you.

If, for whatever reason, you are not interested in either of the above and are concerned about your score on the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, then there are other options open to you.

michigan alcohol screening test

Do You Want to Do Something About Your Drinking?

If so, there are a number of options open to you.

1. Attend Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings.
This seen by many as the one and only way to get sober. It is effective, but only for a small minority. Despite popular belief, it is estimated that only a tiny minority actually succeed using this method.

Recent research has shown that only 5% of alcohol dependents actually remain sober for three or more years using the 12 steps (the main philosophy behind Alcoholics Anonymous’ approach). However do not discount it until you have tried it. Some find that they have to attend several meetings before finding a good fit.

Meetings are a great place to learn about a healthy recovery, build your supports and to learn of similarities between your addiction and others. For more on their approach read Stop Drinking Alcohol With AA.

 2. Self-help.

There are a lot of resources that claim to be able to help you deal with your drinking. A lot of them are ineffective and offer false hope. There is one I have come across that offers alcoholics and problem drinkers a way out (if they are prepared to work hard at overcoming their problems).

How To Give Up Alcohol gives alcohol dependents the tools to quit drinking without AA. For those problem/binge drinkers who do not want to give up alcohol, it provides a way for you to return to moderate drinking by showing how you can control your alcohol intake with a little bit of planning and a lot of perseverance.

Although a bit on the expensive side, this e-book is a fraction of the cost of a treatment center, and anyway you can’t really put a price on reclaiming your life from alcohol.

 3. The Sinclair Method.

The Sinclair Method, using the medication Natlrexone, has a far better success rate than AA. It has been shown to be effective in over 78% of cases.

It is interesting that little is known of this method despite it seeming to be the best treatment for alcoholism available, some say that this is due to vested interests in the addiction treatment industry working against any innovation that might damage their business.

While this all sounds positive, not many physicians are supportive of this approach so it may be difficult to find a doctor who is on board with your plan. Go to The Sinclair Method to learn more about this breakthrough.

4. Treatment Centers. 

A treatment center is a great place to get sober. There are, however, a couple of downsides to this form of getting sober. The first is that a stay in a treatment center is fearsomely expensive.

If you have insurance then this is not a problem, if you don’t then the cost may well be too much (some centers can cost up to 40,000 dollars for an eight week stay!) Many treatment programs strongly encourage Alcoholics Anonymous, which some find troublesome if this is not a good fit for them.

Treatment programs focus on educating you on the disease concept of addiction, addressing any other mental health concerns, and helping you identify changes that would help your return home be as easy as possible. Read Alcohol Addiction Recovery for more on alcohol treatment centers.

 5. Baclofen.

There are many who have managed to defeat their drinking problems by taking the drug baclofen, which is licensed to be used in the treatment with conditions like multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Although not licensed for the treatment of alcohol dependency, those who have tried it swear by it. Dr. Amiesen, a French cardiologist stumbled on baclofen’s potential for treating alcoholism when struggling with his anxiety and alcohol dependence.

One of the great advantages of using baclofen is that abstention from alcohol is not necessary. In fact continuing to drink is an essential part of the treatment. Intrigued? Read Baclofen And Alcohol for more on this form of alcoholism treatment.

 6. Other Treatments.

There are countless ways of treating problem drinking. We have gathered what we consider the best and put them on one page, for more read Alcohol Treatment Programs. We encourage you to do your research, and talk to a health care provider to get their perspective. Be open to their feedback, even if it is not what you were hoping it to be.

A common theme among the options listed above, is the importance of being motivated to make a change. Many failed attempts at recovery are the result of a person not being in a place where they are fully committed to changing behaviors.

"If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism and you want to speak to someone that understands, call our support assistants. As former addicts they are empathetic to the struggle you are facing. The conversation is free & they are available 24/7."

If you found the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test helpful, then the following may be of interest to you:

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


Further information about Alcohol Use Disorder: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20369243  

Further information about geriatric alcohol use: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/facts-about-aging-and-alcohol 

Effects alcohol can have on older adults: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/older-adults 

PDF file containing addition information about the effects alcohol can have on older adults: https://order.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-01/older-adults-and-alcohol.pdf

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