Description: In recent years, the misuse of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs, including opioids, among older adults has been increasing. There is growing evidence that older adults today drink alcohol, and abuse prescription and illicit drugs, at higher levels than previously reported. New data suggest that combination of these problems places older adults at increased risk for negative outcomes, increased health problems, disability, and suicide. This presentation will focus on the nature and extent of substance use and abuse in later life, new research on the changing landscape of substance use and its consequences in aging individuals, best-practices for screening and identification of late-life substance abuse, and brief motivational intervention strategies targeting older adults who misuse substances. The webinar will also highlight key recommendations included in the SAMHSA Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #26: Treatment of Substance Use Disorder in Older Adults.
- Identify the nature and extent of substance misuse among older adults;
- Describe the unique risks of risky substance use and misuse among older individuals, especially for those with comorbid mental health and cognitive problems;
- Screen for alcohol and drug use among older adults using standardized instruments; and
- Recognize new knowledge about effective brief motivational interventions to address both alcohol and drug concerns in their clinical practice.