Improving Alcohol and Drug Services for Older Adults

Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Location(s): United States


The specific aims of the proposed research are: 1) to develop an acceptable and appropriate group treatment for older adults to address recovery support needs, and 2) to test this intervention in a pilot study that will serve as the foundation for a future R01-1evel efficacy study. The projects proposed to reach this goal include interviews with older chemical dependency patients and providers in a general mixed-age outpatient chemical dependency program, to inform intervention refinement; the adaptation of an empirically-supported group-model behavioral intervention (interpersonal psychotherapy) for older adults in alcohol and drug treatment; and testing the intervention in a pilot study. In the pilot, intervention participants will receive 10 weekly sessions of group treatment, and control participants will receive an education group. It is hypothesized that intervention participants will have better outcomes at six months (alcohol consumption, depression, and interpersonal functioning) than participants who receive the education group. This research career development program will yield significant knowledge regarding treatment of older adults with alcohol and drug problems, and will prepare the candidate for independence as a scientist in alcohol services research.