Key Takeaways

  • Explore strategies to provide screening and brief interventions for older adults who misuse alcohol and/or psychoactive prescription medications.

  • This series was commissioned by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Administration on Aging (AoA).

  • Proven, easy-to-use practices and materials can help older adults with their problem use of alcohol and/or psychoactive prescription medications.

Problems with alcohol and prescription medications for pain, sleep, and anxiety—also known as psychoactive medications—are increasing among older U.S. adults. To address the issue, health care and social service organizations can develop strategies to provide screening, brief interventions and treatment (SBIRT) for older adults who are misusing or abusing these substances.

Even though there are real-world challenges to implementing the screening, brief intervention, and treatment model in community settings, this issue brief offers guidance such as:

  • Explaining the steps in a brief preventive intervention
  • Outlining key actions for aging services networks, behavioral health networks, and physical health services
  • Linking to resources to guide organizations through SBIRT

Read on to learn more.