Substance Misuse

Substance Misuse

Social and physical factors (being isolated and having bodily pains) make older adults more vulnerable to substance misuse.

You may feel that using drugs or alcohol would make the situation easier to deal with. For example, you may use drugs to deal with the body pains you experience to numb the pain.

Facts About Dementia


In the UK nearly 1 million older adults struggled with substance misuse in 2018


Between 2000 and 2012, admissions for older adults substance misuse rose from 3.4% to 7.0%.


This is a very serious problem because not only do you develop a drug or alcohol addiction, the drugs used can actually make these problems even worse. Many older people experience heart and lung problems, using drugs can worsen these physical health issues.

Also with advancing years, typically breaking down of these substances in the body slows down and may affect all organs of your body including the brains which are more sensitive to drugs after 60 years of age.

The commonest drugs used by older adults include: higher than prescribed doses of medication, Opioid Pain Medication, Marijuana, Nicotine, Nicotine Vaping, alcohol.


Physical treatments and Health Monitoring:

  • Diagnosis and management of other chronic health conditions
  • Improving access to medical and pain services
  • Improved and coordinated care with better communication between professionals

Psychological therapies:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • Counselling
  • Mindfulness


  • Improving mobility
  • Structured activities
  • Socialising with peers, friends and family
  • Re-building support networks

Oaktree Assessment Tool

iphoneOur Oaktree assessment tool (OAT) can help you decide whether to seek diagnosis and medical treatment from a Psychiatrist online, to seek talking therapy, or if self-help may suffice. It is not a diagnostic test.

Contact Us

To book an online mental health assessment appointment with Private Psychiatrists, Private Psychologists and Private Therapists

We aim to respond within one working day