Show Summary Details
Page of

Recognizing Addiction in Older Patients 

Recognizing Addiction in Older Patients
Chapter:
Recognizing Addiction in Older Patients
Author(s):

Anna Levesque

and Edward V. Nunes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199392063.003.0002
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 June 2019

Alcohol and substance-use disorders in older adults can present in primary care practice in subtle or confusing ways. Screening and diagnostic tools validated in younger populations may limit their recognition. The main objective of this chapter is to differentiate signs and symptoms of alcohol or substance use disorder from other medical and psychiatric comorbidities. We review normal metabolic changes associated with aging as well as clinical features of harmful drinking. The risks of combining alcohol with psychoactive prescription medications are also considered. The relevance of DSM-5 diagnostic criteria to older patients is explored, and we review the evidence for the importance of systematic screening using validated instruments in an older population. Therapeutic vs. aberrant uses of psychoactive prescription medications in the geriatric population are discussed. Finally, we review patterns of illicit substance use in older adults.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.