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Substance Use Disorder Among Older Adults: typologies, pathways and health outcomes

PhD project Substance use disorder (SUD) is increasingly prevalent among older persons; however, researches on substance use disorder have mostly focused on adolescents and younger adults. This means, the findings from these studies may not be generalized to older addiction care seekers. Older and younger adults do not necessarily have identical stressors which lead to problematic substance use.

The overall purpose of the project is to contribute to our understanding of substance use disorder as heterogeneous, multifaceted process among older persons, and to identify the interventions for older persons. Specifically, by utilizing various Swedish register databases, it aims to identify typologies, pathways and health outcomes of substance use among individuals with the age of 50 years and older at their first assessment for substance use disorder. Another goal of the study is identifying the services provided to these individuals and their effects on the health outcomes.

Phd Candidate

Project overview

Project period:

2018-10-01 2022-09-30

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Social Work

Research area

Social work

External funding

Forte, The Kempe Foundation, Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien

Project description

Substance use disorder (SUD) is increasingly prevalent among older persons; however, researches on substance use disorder have mostly focused on adolescents and younger adults. This means, the findings from these studies may not be generalized to older addiction care seekers. Older and younger adults do not necessarily have identical stressors which lead to problematic substance use. Older persons may also have longer exposure to substances (early onset) and face more severe health outcome. This can result early retirement and early needs for old-age care services. Despite this, older persons are invisible in substance use research and practice.

The overall purpose of the project is to contribute to our understanding of substance use disorder as heterogeneous, multifaceted process among older persons, and to identify the interventions for older persons. Specifically, by utilizing various Swedish register databases, it aims to identify typologies, pathways and health outcomes of substance use among individuals with the age of 50 years and older at their first assessment for substance use disorder. Another goal of the study is identifying the services provided to these individuals and their effects on the health outcomes.

External funding