The principles of this report apply to all age groups, however specific mention of the needs of older people is appropriate.
Health Scotland has drawn attention to the range of potential effects of rising rates of alcohol and drug consumption on older people, including the impact on mental health. Staff attitudes towards identification in older people have been suggested as a barrier to effective help but once identified, the effectiveness of care and treatment is as good as in other age groups.
Alcohol and Drug Action Teams, through their constituent organisations, should ensure services are in place for older people with substance use problems, including those with co morbid mental health problems. There may be opportunities during 2008 to link this work into the work that is to be taken forward under the banner of 'dementia as a national priority'. This will be considered by the Scottish Government Mental Health Division.
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