DC Department of Health’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration releases Technical Assistance Manual aimed at reducing substance abuse among Senior Citizens

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — DOH’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration recently released a manual entitled “Substance Abuse Awareness Seniors: A Guide for Developing Substance Abuse Awareness Programs for Older Adults.”

The manual seeks to raise awareness on the scope and nature of substance abuse among seniors, and also offers a basic guide to prevention, assessment, intervention, treatment and aftercare. Written in clear, concise language and organized with practical guidelines, the manual provides essential information for providers including prevention and education strategies and available resources in and outside the District.

“The primary aim of this publication is to address a growing dilemma in our society: the increasing number of senior adults who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs,” said Dr. Gregg A. Pane, Director of the DC Department of Health. “There is also a sense of urgency due to the anticipation of the entrance of the Baby Boom generation into the ranks of seniors.”

More than eight million older adults currently suffer from addiction to alcohol, medications or other chemical substances, and these numbers are expected to increase as “Baby Boomers” begin to reach retirement age, said Robert Johnson, APRA’s Senior Deputy Director.

“The need for awareness among our care providers has never been greater, because there is still little understanding or acknowledgement of the disease of addiction in older adult populations,” he said.

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