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Recognizing Substance Use Disorders and Providing RT Services to Older Adults with Substance Use Disorders in Long Term Care Settings (.15 CEUs)

Between 2010 and 2030, it is projected that the number of older adults in America will increase from 40.3 million to 72.1 million. The aging of the American population has created a sense of urgency among LTC providers as they begin to realize the scale of substance use and misuse among older adults. Indeed, between 2006 and 2020, rates of diagnosed substance use disorder among older adults more than doubled from 2.8 million to 5.8 million. Against this backdrop, this presentation will explore trends and substance use behaviors among older adults, including medical marijuana, and the controversy surrounding it in LTC. The presentation will consider treatment outcomes and approaches as well as their efficacy when used with older adults. Finally, this session will explore the role RT’s can play in helping meet individuals' needs in active substance use, early recovery, or sustain recovery within LTC settings.

Upon completion of the module, participants will be able to:
1. Identify at least two factors driving changes in substance use trends among older adults in the United States
2. Identify at least 3 ways that aging changes substance use patterns, behaviors, and diagnostic appearance
3. Identify at least four risk factors for developing SUDs among older adults 4. Identify at least two treatment approaches that can be used with older adults who have SUDs and describe broad treatment outcomes for this population in comparison with other age groups.