Working with older people

First published: 13 July 2021 | Last updated: 13 July 2021

This is the fourth in a series of slides designed for medical education as well as for all people interested in addiction. This slide set covers the core and distinctive issues for working with older people with substance use disorders and has been designed in collaboration with Drug Science. All educational resources, including slides and fact-sheets for use in medical education, can be found in our Knowledge Hub.

Older people can present with several complex problems including physical and mental health problems. This slide set will take you through the key issues for this age group and cover what you need to know when taking an assessment and formulating a multidisciplinary care plan.

Download the slides here

There are several more slide sets to come, including opioid substitution treatment and the pharmacology of addiction. We will let you know they become available.


The Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) is very happy to have worked with Drug Science in 2020 and 2021 to develop and update this slide series for use in medical education. Medical practitioners are often the first people to come into contact with people who use substances, and it is vital that those practitioners are able to provide a positive response and to deliver evidence-based interventions from that first moment and all the way through to the end of that person’s care.

These slides are primarily for use in medical education settings but have been carefully designed to ensure that they are accessible for a wide range of people. They will therefore provide a rapid overview for medical students and other healthcare professionals. They are free to use; the aim of both organisations is to optimise dissemination of research into practice, so if these slides are of use to you, please use them. If you have any queries, please contact Drug Science or SSA through their websites and we will be glad to answer your questions.