Aims: Elderly people with problematic alcohol consumption are underserved with respect to early intervention and addiction-specific treatment. This article gives an overview of diagnostic instruments, brief interventions, and treatment possibilities. Method: An online search in PubMed was conducted. Results: Screening and indepth diagnostic procedures for younger age groups cannot be simply transferred to older age groups without modification. In the initial studies, brief interventions used in primary care settings were shown to be effective. Studies of addiction-specific treatments have shown that the elderly have at least similar short-term outcomes as younger age groups and better long-term rates of abstinence. There is, however, some evidence that age-specific adaptations of interventions can enhance treatment adherence and outcome. Conclusions: There are effective treatment possibilities for problematic alcohol use in the elderly. Improved provision of care that includes brief interventions and additional treatment measures is urgently needed.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)