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F22-300 Shhh… It’s a Secret: Substance Abuse and the Older Adult

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

300 Aging |  800 Online
Joanna Frankel, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



Substance abuse in older adults is a hidden epidemic in the United States. Many factors come into play to render them at risk. Participants will learn how to identify at-risk older adults and what treatment protocols exist to help them.



Joanna Frankel, LCSW-C Related seminars and products

Joanna Frankel, MSW, LCSW-C is a Professor in the Gerontology program at Howard County Community College, teaching both Aging and Mental Health and Social Gerontology.  Also, Joanna is the Owner of Frankel Care Consulting and her focus is to guide and educate professionals, individuals and families through senior life transitions. She is a graduate of Towson University with her Bachelors in both Psychology and Gerontology.  Following, Joanna obtained her MSW from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work with a clinical concentration and a focus in Aging. Joanna has been working in the long-term care setting for over 15 years as a director and a consultant and she has experience in mental health, end of life care, dialysis and ventilator dependent clients, dementia and advance directives. Additionally, Joanna is passionate about supervising social work licensee candidates.


Agenda & Learning Objectives

1:00 Registration
  • How normal changes with age affect substance abuse
    • Individual activity
  • DSM-5 definition of substance abuse
  • Growing hidden national epidemic
    • Impact of baby boomers
    • Commonly abused substances
    • Risk factors
  • Definitions of substance abuse: alcohol, tobacco, cannabis
  • Life changes caused by substance abuse




  • 4 categories of symptoms: stimulant, hallucinogen, opioid
  • Awareness of physical and mental health affects and what to watch out for.
  • Protocols for treatment: screening, facilitating the screening process, treatments, education, providing screening results, group activity.
4:30 Questions & Adjournment


Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Identify three risk factors for substance abuse in older adults.
  • List three substances most commonly abused by older adults.
  • Differentiate between five definitions of substance abuse. 
  • Discuss three treatment protocols for older adults.

Bibliography & References



Kettaneh, Amani A. Substance Abuse among the Elderly Population: Overview and Management  | Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, December 1, 2015 2017. Addiction Medicine: Elderly Alcohol and Sub. Abuse
Reardon, C. 2012.The changing face of older adult substance abuse. Social Work Today. 12, 1, pg. 8
SAMHSA. Chronic Substance Use and Cognitive Effects on the Brain: An Introduction. Summer 2016. 9, 1 Substance Abuse Among Older Adults
Wessell R., Edwards, C. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology. “Substance Use tobacco, alc, & treatment. May 2012

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms



The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $70 and includes CE credit. *Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the live interactive webinar to receive a refund or a credit letter.


*All cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee

Course Completion & CE Information


Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for 3 Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.


Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

All those interested in Topic Welcomed

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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