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Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

Let them know they should always turn to their loved ones and a doctor if they feel like they’ve become dependent on a particular medicine or other substance. Potential triggers for late-onset alcoholism and drug abuse (which developed after 65) include retirement, substance abuse in older adults loss of income, death of a loved one, placement in a nursing home or relocation in general, trouble sleeping, and health decline. The most common health problems contributing to late-onset alcoholism are depression, major surgeries, and memory loss.

Many older adults take multiple medications and may be unaware of potential harms arising from substance misuse (e.g., overdose; dangerous interactions with alcohol and with other medications; increased risk of physical, mental, and cognitive problems). Age-specific, evidence-based treatments and services are available for older clients with these conditions, including SUDs involving opioids, cannabis, stimulants, and benzodiazepines and https://ecosoberhouse.com/ other sedative-hypnotics. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 26 provides a wide range of guidance in the latest evidence-based screening and assessment approaches, interventions, and services for substance misuse, including substance use disorders (SUDs), in older adults. It is intended for behavioral health service providers, healthcare professionals, and older adults, as well as those people who are significant in their lives.

The Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test

The Verified badge on our articles is a trusted sign of the most comprehensive scientifically-based medical content. If you have any concern that our content is inaccurate or it should be updated, please let our team know at [email protected]. We may be paid a fee for marketing or advertising by organizations that can assist with treating people with substance use disorders.

what is the best treatment for substance abuse in older adults?

Caregivers may be family members or individuals significant to the older adult who might be involved in the older adult’s health decisions. Apply a stepped-care approach that starts with the least intensive treatment option that meets the needs of the older adult, and then increase the level of intensity as needed. Exhibit 4.5 shows the possible treatment pathways along the continuum of care for older adults with alcohol misuse. For more resources related to addressing substance misuse among older adults, including misuse of alcohol, see the Chapter 4 Appendix and the additional resources in Chapter 9 of this TIP. The third section briefly describes the continuum of care for older adults, including brief interventions for alcohol misuse and inpatient detoxification or rehabilitation.

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

But be sure to discuss with them both the benefits and potential limitations of these strategies. Wellness recovery activities keep your older clients engaged in all aspects of life, health, and well-being. Brainstorm ideas together and link your clients to a wide range of wellness activities, like exercising, joining a spiritual or religious fellowship, creating a safe and welcoming living environment, enrolling in adult education or senior college courses, and volunteering. Prescription medication misuse can be unintentional, underscoring the importance of educating your older clients about how to take medication correctly (including avoiding harmful interactions). Person-centered care is the preferred approach for this population and emphasizes older clients’ values, needs, and preferences from among a menu of care options. A plain language summary of prescription opioids that explains effects on the brain and reported use.

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