Healthy Aging


Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use

Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use

The National Prevention Strategy provides evidence-based Recommendations for Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use. Aging can lower the body's tolerance to alcohol so older adults generally experience the effects of alcohol more quickly than when they were younger. And unfortunately, drinking causes an increased risk for falls, car crashes, and other unintentional injuries. Furthermore, studies have projected misuse of prescription medications to increase from 1.2 percent in 2001 to 2.4 percent in 2020 among older adults specifically.


The following materials are intended to help state and territorial governments and their partners implement the National Prevention Strategy to improve health outcomes for older adults by preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use.

Prescription Medical Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults
Administration on Aging (AoA)
This issue brief offers strategies for education, screening and early interventions for prevention of prescription medical misuse and abuse. Prescription medical misuse and abuse are growing public health problems among older adults; these problems are associated with many serious consequences and often go unrecognized.

Older Americans Behavioral Health: Expanding Home and Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Older Adults
Administration for Community Living and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
This issue brief highlights innovative actions that community organizations have taken to implement behavioral health planning for older adults and provides recommendations to help care providers implement effective behavioral health services.

NIH Senior Health: Alcohol Use and Older Adults
National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute on Aging (NIA)
The NIH offers a variety of resources to help increase awareness of the effect aging and alcohol consumption.

Illicit Drug Use Among Older Adults 
National Survey on Drug Use and Health
This report provides the trend and illicit drug use among older adult. It displays difference by age group, gender, type of drugs used, and the implications.

SAMHSA Tip 26: Substance Abuse Among Older Adults
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

This publication 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. It discusses outcomes and financial, ethical, and legal issues.

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