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Substance Abuse & Older Adults February 2, 2010. Helene Bergman, LMSW. C-ASWCM Mark Zilberman, LCSW. Case Study: H The Bumpy Road to Recovery. Stumbling Blocks Crisis-Eviction APS Personality Disorder Dementia Depression Insurance Issues System Failure

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substance abuse older adults february 2 2010

Substance Abuse & Older AdultsFebruary 2, 2010

Helene Bergman, LMSW. C-ASWCM

Mark Zilberman, LCSW

case study h the bumpy road to recovery
Case Study: HThe Bumpy Road to Recovery
  • Stumbling Blocks
  • Crisis-Eviction
  • APS
  • Personality Disorder
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Insurance Issues
  • System Failure
  • Collusion/neglect of professionals
less successful cases harm reduction
Less Successful Cases- Harm Reduction
  • J- the depressed concert pianist who smokes and drinks
  • Mrs. K & Mrs. M- dementia and a drinking family
  • Mrs. B- dementia/drinking/oxycontin
  • The Drinking Duo- til death do they part
  • Mr. H – The Shopping Bags of Meds
what is substance abuse for older adults
What is Substance Abuse for Older Adults?
  • Prescribed Medications
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Narcotics
    • Sleep Aids
  • Alcohol
  • Heroin, PCP, LSD, Crack
  • Marijuana?
older adults a hidden population why
Older Adults- A Hidden Population:WHY?!
  • Individual, family & system denial
  • Collusion-family/system
  • Physician neglect; misdiagnosis
  • Long Distance Caregivers
  • Impact more hidden (i.e, retired)
  • Prescription Drug Culture
  • Legality of supply; easy access
dsm iv
  • Inapplicability of Standard Diagnostic Criteria (303.90, 305.00)-
  • If you follow the criteria of the DSM-IV, maybe there is no substance abuse problem with the elderly. Here's 305, DSM-IV, Alcohol Abuse:
dsm iv1
  • A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
  • recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)
  • recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
  • recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct)
  • continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)
functional assessment the individual
Functional Assessment- the Individual
  • - Assessment Tools: CAGE Questionnaire

Two "yes" responses indicate that the respondent should be investigated further.

The questionnaire asks the following questions:

Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?

Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?

Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

functional assessment the individual1
Functional Assessment- the Individual
  • Other assessment tools (find on Google):
  • 1) MAST- Michigan Alcohol Screening Test
  • 2) AUDIT-Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test
  • 3) RIASI-RIA Self Inventory
  • 4) SSI-Simple Screening Instrument
  • 5) DAST- Drug Abuse Screening Test
functional assessment the individual2
Functional Assessment- the Individual
  • How is the PROBLEM a PROBLEM?
  • Always go further than standardized tests with mental illness to avoid over diagnosing. Question:
  • a) Social impact?

b) Physical consequences?

c) Emotional effects?

system s approach you can t just fix the addict
System's Approach: You Can't Just Fix The Addict.
  • The Family

Role Theory: The addict, the fixer, the overlooked, etc...


Resistance to Change

  • Significant Others
  • Enabling
  • Sabotage: If he gets better, what do I do now? Who am I?
  • Models:


*Harm Reduction

  • Survey of Structured Programs

* Detoxification

*Medical Detoxification

*Inpatient Rehabilitation

*Partial Hospitalization

*Outpatient Rehabilitation



  • Dearth of Structured Programs for middle class

*Private Pay Facilities


non structured interventions for pgcm s
Non-structured Interventions for PGCM’s
  • Assess Leverage
  • Limit Access
  • Alter Substance
  • Limit Substance
  • Collaborate w/PCP (support meds)
  • Research/Accompany to 12 Step Groups
  • Function as Sponsor
  • System “Intervention”
  • Private Therapy
  • Medicine: antabuse, naltrexone