Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
AD 105
Course Title:
Aging & Addiction
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers drug and alcohol addiction among older adults, including prescription and other drugs and alcohol, used either alone or in combination. As tolerance to the effects of alcohol and other drugs decline, aging adults have higher risk factors. Addresses issues specific to aging, including late onset addiction, effects of use on performance of activities of daily living, treatment issues and co-occurring disorders such as depression or other chronic illnesses. A multicultural perspective is used, including the role of social class and gender issues. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Americans 55 and older develop addictions to drugs and alcohol.  Our aging population is creating an unprecedented need for quality healthcare in addiction, both in prevention, and achieving quality recovery. At least 80% of older Americans live with at least one chronic condition, and 50% have at least two. This course examines age-related changes in relationship to addiction, including familial, treatment and recovery issues.  While as many as 60% of the aging population abstains from alcohol use, alcohol addiction is still the largest category of substance abuse problems in older adults. Alcohol consumption, alone or in combination with multiple chronic conditions are associated with high morbidity and mortality.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Assess factors concerning age-related changes pertaining to addiction including performance of activities of daily living and barriers to treatment.
2. Analyze the effects in older adults of co-occurring disorders such as trauma, addiction, depression and other chronic illnesses.
3. Examine aging and addiction issues from a multicultural perspective, including the role of class and gender; and the importance of trauma and wellness informed services.
4. Distinguish and identify high risk factors in those who have late onset addiction, including reverse tolerance.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

1)     A variety of papers and assignments will be used to facilitate skill and knowledge acquisition.

2)     Quizzes and other types of objective tests may be used.