Grey Matters National Conference


The Grey Matters National Conference: Preventing and responding to alcohol and other drug problems among older Australians

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) hosted the Grey Matters National Conference on Wednesday 1 April 2015. The conference was held in response to increasing concerns regarding changes in patterns of alcohol and other drug use among older Australians and resultant levels of harm. This is a largely under-recognised issue and older people with these problems often experience substantial stigma. In addition, existing alcohol and other drug prevention and treatment services do not generally focus on the needs of older clients, while generic health and community services developed for older people are often not familiar with the array of potential alcohol and drug problems that might exist and ways to best manage them. These factors place this group of older Australians at significant disadvantage.

The conference featured presentations on identifying, preventing and responding to alcohol and other drug problems among older Australians. It aimed to:

  • Promote better understanding, and raise awareness of, alcohol and other drug issues as they impact older Australians
  • Clarify the implications, for the aged care sector and the alcohol and other drug prevention/ treatment sector, of trends in alcohol and drug use among older Australians
  • Identify possible ways forward for cross-sectoral initiatives and response strategies.
The conference featured presentations on:
  • Changing demographics
  • Ageing and the brain
  • Polypharmacy
  • Sleep
  • Pain
  • Mental health
  • Services and support needs.

The Grey Matters Conference brought together key representatives of the aged care, alcohol and other drug and primary health sectors to focus on this issue. Download the conference flyer.