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University of Chicago Teaching Modules

Intervention for Substance Use in Older Adults

This module is designed to improve the provision of age-appropriate screening and treatment methods for effective assessment and intervention for substance use in older adults. It includes five video segments and a trainer’s guide with resource information about assessment and intervention with older adults, suggested homework assignments, key discussion points for each of the five video segments, references, and resources. The student workbook follows the trainer’s guide that provides key content and discussion questions.

Learning Objectives

Explain the purpose of the screening and assessment interview. Conduct screening and assessment of prescription medications and substance use. Use of screening instruments such as AUDIT-C/CAGE and SMAST-G. Ability to use rephrasing, paraphrasing, and reflection of feeling when addressing a client’s motivation for change. Conduction of brief intervention therapy as part of active treatment. Address a slip by reframing the slip as a learning experience rather than a failure, re-establishing the commitment to change and revising the intervention. Describe specific components of intervention that may involve family members.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  1. Culturally sensitive practice that recognizes late-life impact of inequality based on ageism, gender, etc.
  2. Identify ways to ascertain the health status and physical functioning of older adults.
  3. Raise Awareness of standardized assessment and diagnostic tools that are appropriate for use with older adults.
  4. Develop clear, timely, and appropriate service or care plans with measurable objectives for older adults.
  5. Reevaluate and adjust service or care plans for older adults on a continuing basis.
  6. Establish rapport and maintain an effective working relationship with older adults and family members.
  7. Use educational strategies to provide older persons and their families with information related to wellness and disease management.

 Section 1: Screening and Assessment Video

Section 2: Addressing Motivation for Change Video

Section 3: Active Treatment Video

Section 4: Working with the Family Video

Section 5: Another Approach to Screening Video