Substance Use & Misuse Among the Elderly
AdCare Educational Institute shares with other organizations, community members and policy makers, concern regarding Maine’s capacity to identify and respond effectively to substance abuse and misuse among our growing population of seniors in Maine. As we have investigated this topic, we discovered that it’s a situation that remains underestimated, under-identified, underdiagnosed and in some ways, misunderstood. The elder care services arena across the state already has a wide system of services to respond to the more general health and wellbeing of our elders. Infusing into this system the additional focus on substance misuse, utilizing specialized evaluation criteria, could help Maine identify and respond to people with issues that now sometimes go unrecognized in the assessment, service delivery and referral process.
AdCare is in the process of gathering national research on this growing epidemic of substance abuse and misuse among older adults. We are also looking at programs that have been successfully developed to address the problem on a national and regional level. We are seeking out organizations and individuals throughout the state that share our desire to identify this population of Mainers who need to move beyond the consequences of untreated substance abuse or misuse. AdCare anticipates developing an appropriate training instrument that will benefit those who care for our ever increasing population of elders. We all share the belief that it’s never too late to take advantage of enhanced health in our senior years, and AdCare wants to be a part of the solution to this growing problem.
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