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Old and High

A Guide to Understanding the Neuroscience and Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Baby-Boom Adults' Substance Use, Abuse, and Misuse

Robert Youdin

Publication Date - June 2019

ISBN: 9780190672898

296 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


Despite the stereotype of older adults primarily abusing alcohol, clinical practice insights indicate that the baby-boom generation frequently abuses the same substances as younger adults-including alcohol, benzodiazepines/z-drugs, cannabis, opioids, tobacco (nicotine), and neurostimulants. Old and High exposes this hidden epidemic and emphasizes the importance of understanding psychotropic substance abuse as a community health problem. Further, the book identifies the unique cultural values, social values, and risks that baby-boom adults have with respect to substance abuse and misuse to give students and clinical professionals in psychology, social work, gerontology, nursing, and medicine a foundation for working with this population. Readers will learn how to integrate current neuroscience findings with contemporary psychotherapy techniques and harm-reduction interventions to help older adults achieve successful recovery from substance abuse problems. Considering that we will likely observe an increase in rates of substance abuse as the baby-boom generation continues to age-and live longer than previous groups-there will be a major need to better understand the unique risk factors and treatment approaches for working with older adults.


  • Examines the hidden epidemic of older adults experiencing psychotropic substance dependence from both individual and societal perspectives
  • Integrates the neuroscience of psychotropic substance abuse with contemporary psychotherapeutic techniques and harm-reductive interventions
  • Features extensive clinical vignettes that humanize the academic research
  • Criticizes the medicalization of psychological problems older adults experience
  • Assesses the intersectionality of substance use, abuse, and misuse with race, class, and ageism

About the Author(s)

Robert Youdin, PhD, is Visiting Research Collaborator in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University and has a psychotherapy practice in Princeton, NJ, specializing in substance abuse treatment.


"Robert Youdin's book Old and High is a ground-breaking guide to understanding Baby Boomers' use, misuse, and abuse of psychotropic drugs. The book is broken into three distinct parts." -- Satara Armstrong-Charlson, The New Social Worker

Table of Contents


    Part I. Understanding Baby-Boom Adult Psychotropic Substance Use, Abuse and Misuse
    Chapter 1. Who Are the Baby-Boom Adults?: Differences Between Their Using, Abusing, and Misusing Psychotropic Substances
    Chapter 2. Basic Anatomical and Psychophysiological Concepts Needed to Understand Baby-Boom Adults' Psychotropic Substance Use, Abuse, and Misuse
    Chapter 3. Consequences of Baby-Boom Adults' Psychotropic Substance Abuse and Misuse

    Part II. Psychotropic Substances Used, Misused, and Abused By Baby-Boom Adults
    Chapter 4. Alcohol
    Chapter 5. Benzodiazepines and Sleep Medications
    Chapter 6. Cannabis
    Chapter 7. Opioids
    Chapter 8. Psychostimulants
    Chapter 9. Tobacco

    Part III. Psychotherapy Theories and Interventions
    Chapter 10. Psychotherapy Theories, Techniques, and Harm Reduction Interventions for Treating Baby-Boom Adults' Psychotropic Substance Abuse