Substance Abuse: Realities and Hope

1.0 Training Contact Hour

Chemical dependency affects all segments of our population, with devastating effects on families, personal health, financial stability, and community crime and violence. For many older adults, chemical dependency could mean a 10 to 15 years decrease in life span and significantly lowered quality of life during their later years. Participants in this module will be given an overview of how substance abuse impacts people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, with the main focus on the impact of chemical dependency on older adults.

Participants will also gain insight into the impact of the disease on the person's ability to successfully carry out activities of daily living; engage in satisfying interpersonal relationships; health and sense of well-being; and the reluctance to seek and/or accept treatment. We also note that some older people are using street drugs and some have recognized the financial value of their prescription drugs and have begun to sell them. We will examine the changing face of substance abuse among older people with an expanded focus on drug use, abuse and sale.

We will look at traditional models of intervention and treatment, as well as have an opportunity to learn about "evidence-based" models of intervention and treatment that have proven successful.


Diana Kubovcik, MSSA, LISW-S

Ms. Kubovcik is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a Master's Degree from Case Western Reserve University, and is the Clinical Director at the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. Diana has over 25 years of experience in aging in direct practice and administration. She has participated in the development of many innovative programs in the field of aging and is a founding member of the Ohio Association for Adult Protective Services. She has also been an instructor at the Ohio State University in both Allied Health and in Social Work, and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter.


  1. Understand the impact of chemical dependencies on the life of a person at any age.
  2. Understand how chemical dependency is different for older adults.
  3. Understand the unique treatment needs for older adults.
  4. Understand the economics of prescription drug abuse.
  5. Identify street drugs used by older adults.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Post Test (which requires a score of 100%) and then the Module Evaluation, followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.