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Working With Older Adults With Substance Use Problems Teaching Module

PowerPoint Teaching Module

This PowerPoint teaching module with teaching notes addresses working with older adults with substance use disorders.  It contains a case vignette; demographics of adults with substance use disorder or alcohol and other drug use; prevalence; guidelines; DSM-IV criteria and caveats for substance dependence or abuse; defining use patterns; ethics of interventions; alcohol and other drug use and effects; comparison of younger and older adults with substance dependence; treatment needs; signs of potential substance use problems; co-morbid conditions; screening and assessments; instruments MAST-G, S-MAST-G, CAGE, and Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10); prescription and over-the-counter drug use, misuse, and abuse; screenings for prescription drug abuse; intervention; empirical studies, protocols and components; alternative treatment approaches; pharmacological approaches; elder-specific intervention and studies of models; conclusions; discussion questions; model program – Older Adults Technology Services; and innovations of computer-assisted AOD screening and telephone counseling; resources; acknowledgments, and references.


The Teaching Module includes a related Syllabus: Working With Older Adults With Substance Use Problems.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  1. Conduct assessment and intervention strategies for substance/drug/alcohol abuse in later life.
  2. Conduct differential diagnosis of substance abuse, using diagnostic tools that are appropriate for use with older adults (e.g., MAST-G).
  3. Evaluate and conduct research into the effectiveness of practice and programs in achieving intended outcomes for older adults.
  4. Develop strategies to change policies and programs to improve the well-being of older adults with substance use issues.