Your Medicine and Liquor Cabinet: Substance Use and Abuse Among the Elderly

America is saturated with prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and neutriceuticals claiming to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain, control blood pressure, boost sexual activity, solve sleep problems, prevent dementia, and basically treat or cure the ailments and irritants that impact quality and length of life. Older adults are the highest utilizers of these products and the prime targets of highly effective advertisers, yet they are poorly educated about the realities of drug use.

Whether prescribed by physicians (often multiple doctors with different specialties and approaches) or purchased at the local grocery store, and used according to directions, consumption of these drugs can be extremely dangerous in older bodies. Older adults have unique vulnerabilities to medications including adverse side effects, drug-drug interactions, drug dependency, cognitive complications, and physical disability—especially from falls. The use of alcohol or illicit drugs compounds the potential for serious consequences and individuals over the age of 55 are noted to be the fastest growing population in need of addiction treatment.

This course explores: consumption trends; levels of risk; age related vulnerabilities; issues of use, misuse, and abuse; strategies for prevention; and options for intervention, treatment, and recovery in the older adult population. Participants will leave with information and resources to better assist older individuals (and themselves) in becoming informed, savvy and healthy consumers of drugs of all kinds.

916.214.01 Homewood Campus Tues., Sept. 25-Oct. 30, 6:45-8:45 p.m. Cost: $210 (6 sessions)

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for 80% tuition remission. Spouse-50%. You will be unable to get a discount online. Call 410-516-8516 for specific registration and remission details.