Older Adult SUD Services
Substance Use (SU) Prevention and Treatment
Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (ACBHCS), Older Adult System of Care: The entire SUD System, last year served 7,395 total adult consumers, 750 were consumers over the age of 60. The following two Older Adult Programs served 49 consumers combined. This shows that the majority of older adults are being served within the adult system of care. Here is a brief description of the Older Adult specific SUD programs in ACBHCS. The ACBHCS Annual Report provides an overview of clients served in Alameda County including those who are sixty (60+) plus years old. (link PDF) “Alameda County Leads The Way” article provides relevant information about reducing the demand for prescription medications and safe disposal methodsOlder Adult Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Standards of Practices and Workforce Development (page 92)
“The fact is, although alcohol and drug abuse is harmful at any age, it is never more harmful than on the elderly. The impact of alcohol- and drug-related injuries is much more severe, the risk of harmful medication interactions is much greater, and the general physical effects of alcohol and drugs are more debilitating. Some Dramatic Statistics:
Seniors and Substance Abuse MJH
Substance Abuse Among Older Adults Treatment Improvement Protocol|(TIP) 26: Offers practice guidelines for the identification, screening, assessment, and treatment of the elderly for alcohol abuse and abuse of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs. Discusses outcomes and financial, ethical, and legal issues.
Reference and Resource Guide for Working with Hispanic/Latino Older Adults (link PDF) The impact of culture on substance abuse treatment and recovery cannot be overemphasized. Well informed counselors and clinicians understand that a client’s cultural background must be taken into account in the development of a treatment plan. This need can be even greater among older adult clients, as their attitudes and beliefs about health care are more likely to be those prevalent in their native countries.
SAMHSA has a Toolkit, “Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide Among Seniors”, to help address a misunderstood behavioral health issue among older adults — suicide. “There is a sense that depression is a normal part of aging and that there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Chris Miara, MS, senior project director for the SAMHSA-funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center. “But it’s really important to convey that it’s not a normal part of aging and that there are ways to help. A lot of older people can have a good quality of life if they can get the help they need.”Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH) Older Adult Contacts:
Lillian Schaechner, LCSW; Older Adult System of Care Director
Michael Kessler, LPCC, CRC, RMT; Program Specialist for the Older Adult System of Care