Course Summary

Although substance use disorder is typically associated with younger patients, alcohol and drug use has become a growing problem in older people. A declining social support system combined with significant personal losses can lead to anxiety and depression, which makes older individuals vulnerable to using substances for the temporary relief of their mood symptoms. The natural aging process increases the negative physical and emotional impact of a substance use disorder, often mimicking symptoms typically seen in older people, and making it harder for health clinicians to diagnose an existing problem.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Prevalence and Types of Substance Use
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition
    • Alcohol
    • Illegal Drugs
    • Prescription Drugs
  • Health Effects of Substance Use
    • Cancer
    • Immune System Disorders
    • Liver Disease
    • Brain Damage
    • Drug Interactions
  • Treatment
    • Inpatient and Outpatient Programs
    • Medical Intervention
  • Case Study Adherence to Treatment
  • Summary


Noah H. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Noah Carpenter is a Thoracic and Peripheral Vascular Surgeon. He completed his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and medical school and training at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Carpenter completed surgical residency and fellowship at the University of Edmonton and Affiliated Hospitals in Edmonton, Alberta, and an additional Adult Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has specialized in microsurgical techniques, vascular endoscopy, laser and laparoscopic surgery in Brandon, Manitoba and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and in Colorado, Texas, and California. Dr. Carpenter has an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Calgary, and was appointed a Citizen Ambassador to China, and has served as a member of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives, the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories, Canada Science Council, and the International Society of Endovascular Surgeons, among others. He has been an inspiration to youth, motivating them to understand the importance of achieving higher education.

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