Recognizing and Facing Alcohol and Drug Misuse in Older Adults

May 9, 2016
Hosted by Mary Woods

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Guest Information

Episode Description

An article in the Journal of American Medicine says that about 12 percent of those people sixty-five and older take ten or more medications per week, some over the counter, some prescribed. The medical community defines this situation as Polypharmacy (the use of four or more medications by a patient). What happens in many cases, unfortunately, is that the patients and caregivers lose track of these meds and the combinations of the drugs cause severe health problems from dementia to death.
Some topics that will be discussed include: 1. The distinction between the symptoms of aging, polypharmacy and addiction; 2. Which prescription drugs and medical conditions can mimic dementia; 3. The difference between abuse and dependence, or misuse and addiction; 4. Why an older adult may turn to drugs and alcohol; 5. The relationship between prescription painkillers and addiction; 6. Tips to help caregivers talk with an older adult’s doctor about the need for and proper use of prescriptions.

One Hour AT A Time

One Hour AT A Time

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

Recovery, whether it is from substance abuse or a mental illness, or both requires a treatment plan, which in many cases is as effective as treatments for other chronic illnesses. “One Hour AT A Time” will increase awareness about recovery and decrease the discrimination against individuals in the recovery process. Host Mary Woods, will help people understand the recovery of adults and families living with co-occurring substance use disorders and psychotic and/or affective illness over the course of a lifetime. Helping individuals develop the skills and knowledge they need to take personal responsibility for their health and supporting individuals in their efforts to get on with life beyond illness has been Mary’s mission and she now brings that mission to the airwaves.

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Mary Woods

Mary Woods

Mary is the CEO of WestBridge Community Services. She is also a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor with more than 25 years experience in substance abuse services and community mental health programs. Mary has conducted extensive workshops and trainings with a primary focus in Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change Theory and Integrated Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders. She is also a contributor to the development of the Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment Practitioners and Clinical Supervisors Workbook and Practice Demonstration Video. Mary was the Chairperson of the NH State Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professionals. She has been a member of the NH Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor’s Association since 1984, and has served as the Northeast Regional Vice President for the NAADAC, the Association of Addiction Professionals, President of NAADAC and is currently past president of NAADAC.

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