Substance Use in Older Adults Conference

The Illinois Coalition on Substance Use and Aging and
The University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration Professional Development Program

The Elephant in Our Rooms:
Acknowledging and Addressing Substance Use in Older Adults

May 15, 2015
9:00am - 4:00pm

The University of Chicago
School of Social Service Administration
969 E 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Substance use has become a major concern among older Americans as the baby boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) reach their 50’s and 60’s.  While the most commonly used (and misused) drugs among older adults continue to be alcohol and prescription drugs, the rate of illicit drug use among adults aged 50-59 doubled between 2002 and 2007 when all people 50-59 were “boomers.”*  This is not surprising given the more permissive cultural attitudes toward drug experimentation characteristic of this cohort.   

In spite of this increase, substance use problems in older adults frequently go unrecognized by health care, social service, and residential professionals.  Even when recognized, few older adults with substance use problems seek or accept help in specialized addiction treatment settings.  This means that health and home health, mental health, social service, senior services, and residential providers, as well as addiction professionals need to be able to recognize, screen, and assess substance use; conduct motivational interventions; and implement brief treatment approaches with older adults.

The primary goal of this conference is to create and expand a better informed and integrated network of providers who serve older adults at risk of problems related to their use of drugs of all kinds.  The morning keynote, breakout, and panel sessions provide a broad overview of some major concerns and case examples of aging and substance use in a variety of practice settings.  In the afternoon, conference participants will attend workshops to help gain specific knowledge and skills in either: 1. screening and brief interventions (SBIRT) for substance use in older adults; 2. using motivational interviewing to initiate and continue conversations about substance use with older adults; or 3. healthcare and older adults.  Each of these afternoon workshops will address older adults as a cultural subgroup with circumstances, strengths, and needs that are different from younger adults. 

This conference satisfies the State of Illinois cultural competence CE requirement for social workers.

Registration Rates: (includes instruction and materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and six CEUs*)
Early Bird Registration:
$75 (Ends May 1, 2015)
Standard Registration:
$100 (Ends May 13, 2015)

*The Professional Development Program at SSA is a licensed State of Illinois provider of continuing education (CE) for social workers, clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. License numbers: 159.000140; 168.000115; 268.000004.
*The Illinois Certification Board has approved this conference for six CEUs in the following categories: Counselor I or II, Preventionist I or II, CARS I or II, MISA I or II, PCGC II, CCJP II, CAAP I, CRSS II, MAATP I or II, CFPP II.
*CEUs for Nursing Home Administrators provided by Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care.

Conference Schedule and Registration

*Han et al., An Examination of Trends in Illicit Drug Use among Adults Aged 50 to 59 in the United States.  SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies, August, 2009.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this conference should contact the PDP office at least one week in advance of the event for assistance