Substance Use - Alcohol


Clinical Guidelines

Information and Resources for

Health Care Professionals

Information and Resources for

Older Adults and Care Partners

Information for Health Care Professionals

Alcohol use among older adults

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among older adults. In Canada, rates of hospitalization entirely due to alcohol are the highest in the 50-75 age group. At-risk drinking is more prevalent among older adults and is likely responsible for a large share of harm (falls, motor vehicle accidents, etc.).

Substance use disorder and older adults

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is common in older adults, effecting up to 21% of the geriatric medical population and up to 44% of the geriatric psychiatric population. Older adults have an increased vulnerability to the effects of substance use and they experience more harm associated with them compared to younger adults. This area is understudied, under-identified and lacking in resources. CCSMH has developed best practice guidelines to support health care professionals when working with older adults who use substances.

Help us improve our resources: 

CCSMH aims to promote older adults’ mental health by connecting people, ideas and resources. Please take a few moments to tell us about yourself and your experience with our resources by participating in this survey.


Discover our Guidelines on Alcohol Use Disorder Among Older Adults.


Watch the following National ECHO webinar with Johnathan Bertram on older adults and substance use disorder, including alcohol use disorder.

Jonathan Bertram, MD, CCFP, is an addiction medicine physician at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health with a special interest in First Nations outreach, and older adults in the context of pain and addictions treatment. He is a consultant physician on geriatric addictions management to Community Outreach Programs in Addictions (COPA), and runs a community practice in pain, family medicine and addictions in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Discover all National ECHO presentations here.