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Substance Abuse Treatment and Older Adults Teaching Module

This teaching module contains PowerPoint slides with teaching notes, a teaching script, and additional resource materials that include information related to treatment of substance abuse disorders among older adults. Covers information related to alcohol use and abuse, prescription medication abuse, illicit drug use, psychosocial model of addiction, assessment, and DSM-IV diagnosis. Screening tools include CAGE; Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test - Geriatric (MAST-G); Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT); Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (ARPS); and Impressions of Medication, Alcohol, and Drug Use in Seniors (IMADUS). Case examples, brief interventions, motivational counseling, cognitive-behavioral approaches are discussed. Text recommendations, guidelines for additional student questions, discussion, assessments and diagnosis, test questions, plus a reference/resource list and bibliography for additional readings are given.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  • Design and implementation of service plans to help older people and their families manage/improve functioning with cognitive loss or mental health problems (e.g., depression, dementia, and delirium), health issues, and/or physical functioning
  • Application of social work ethical principles to decisions on behalf of all older adult clients with special attention to those who have limited decisional capacity including:

(a) complex situations in which self-determination and dignity are challenged or inconsistent           with safety and legal concerns;
(b) reporting and intervening with elder mistreatment such as neglect and abuse; and
(c) reporting and intervening with those in danger to self or others

  • The different issues affecting older adults who have used/abused drugs for the first time compared to older adults who have considerable histories of use/abuse
  • The ability to assess and understand treatment strategies for older adult abusers