Key Takeaways

  • View this manual for strategies to address alcohol and psychoactive medication misuse or abuse among older adults.

  • This resource was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, JBS International, and the National Council on Aging.

  • Find recommendations for implementing early prevention intervention programs for alcohol and/or psychoactive medication misuse or abuse.

The U.S. is now facing the challenge of caring for an increasingly large population of older adults who have significant health care needs. As the current cohort of aging Americans transitions from mid- to later life, the emerging research indicates that they are continuing to use alcohol and psychoactive prescription medications at a higher rate than previous generations. Given the demographic changes in the country, the increases in problems related to substance use in older adults that can result in costly negative health outcomes, and the changes in the healthcare system, developing methods for prevention and early intervention for this population is imperative.

Explore this guide for strategies focused on implementation of programs to prevent alcohol and psychoactive medication misuse/abuse in older adults, based on screening and brief intervention (SBI) clinical trial research results and field-based implementation evaluations. This evidence-based practice SBI manual gives both organizational leadership and clinicians the tools to successfully meet the prevention and early intervention needs of this rapidly growing population. The content of this guide is divided into two major sections.

  • Section I focuses on all of the information needed by clinicians and supervisors to conduct SBI.
  • Section II guides organizations through determining where and how to embed SBI into their settings. This guide also includes Appendices that include a list of targeted psychoactive medications of concern, prescreening and screening instruments, a list of brochures and pamphlets on safe use of alcohol and medications, a brief intervention workbook, and process evaluation instruments to aid in determining how implementation is working and provide methods to maintain fidelity to the SBI model.