Substance Abuse in Older Population

1556 Words Feb 18th, 2018 6 Pages
Symptoms such as confusion and cognitive decline that are sometimes seen in aging adults are often seen in those with SUDs.
The Role of the Physician
One of the first lines of defense in helping the elderly who are struggling with substance abuse is assisting them in recognizing there is a problem and correctly screening for substance abuse (Han et al., 2009). This primary role of the physician is essential to the treatment of the older patient’s medical needs. The medical community plays an important role in the lives of older people. Physicians prescribe the medications which a person might possibly abuse. It is the responsibility of the physician to identify and address a patient’s possible problems with substance abuse.
When contemplating the most effective treatment of older patients with substance use problems it is vital to take into account all areas of the patient’s health care (Rothrauff, 2004). Many aging patients utilize the services offered by members of a church community, home health care workers, social workers, and others on a regular basis. All of those who are involved in the patient’s care can assist a physician in incorporating valuable resources and become vital members of the patient’s support network (Rothrauff, 2004). Family members, while an important part of a patient’s treatment, should only be included in treatment decisions with the consent of the patient. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance…
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