- Article: Rassool GH (2012) Substance misuse in older people 2: identifying and treating substance misuse. Nursing Times; 108: Online issue.
- Author: G Hussein Rassool is independent consultant and visiting professor of addiction and mental health, Universidade de São Paulo and Universidade de Minas Gerais, Brazil, and director, Inter Cultural Therapy Centre, Mauritius.
THIS ARTICLE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT
- The difficulties of identifying substance misuse problems in older people
- The importance of screening and assessment to prevent further harm
- How to carry out a brief opportunistic screening
- The nurse’s role in intervention strategies
YOU WOULD BE LIKELY TO REFERENCE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU WERE RESEARCHING:
- Older people
- Substance misuse
IN WHAT SITUATIONS WILL THIS ARTICLE BE USEFUL TO ME?
Substance misuse in older people often goes under recognised. This article will help you to appreciate this problem in the older age group and outlines a brief screening tool that can help to identify those affected. It also details possible intervention strategies.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MENTOR/TUTOR
- What steps should I take if I suspect one of the patients has a problem with substance misuse?
- Why would a patient be reluctant to admit to such a problem?
- What do I do if the patient sees their problem as ‘normal’?
STUDENT NT DECODER
Substance misuse: Substance misuse is defined as intoxication by or regular excessive consumption of substances that have an effect on the brain. The most commonly misused drug is alcohol.
Psychoactive substances: a drug affecting the mind
Detoxification: Medical treatment generally involving abstention from drink or drugs until the bloodstream is free of toxins.
Brief intervention: This is an intervention designed to promote behaviour change which is offered opportunistically and takes a short period of time i.e. 10 minutes and can be offered by a non-specialist.