Substance abuse in older people

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review presents current information on substance abuse in older people, highlighting recent studies on epidemiology, screening techniques, brief intervention, and treatment issues. Studies show that substance abuse in older people is common, but frequently goes undiagnosed. Although alcohol abuse is most common, abuse of narcotic and sedative drugs also occurs. Older adults are particularly susceptible to adverse medical outcomes from substance abuse, and recent studies show that brief interventions by primary care providers can have a major impact on preventing medical morbidity and improving quality of life. Effective treatment modalities for substance abuse in older people exist and should be individualized to optimize success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-995
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Alcoholism
  • Brief intervention
  • Older people
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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