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Substance Use and Ageing 

This is a cross-disciplinary, international community of researchers, practitioners and experts by experience in later life substance use. We welcome people with any level of experience or interest to join us in addressing key issues in later life substance use, to progress understanding, and inform responsive policy and practice.

Aims & Focus:

We bring together and build capacity in research, policy and practice relating to older adults’ substance use, defined as:

  • Aged ≥50 years
  • Use of licit and illicit substances including nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs, opioids, stimulants, hallucinogens, solvents, cannabinoids, and novel psychoactive substances

We are a community of academics (from all career stages), practitioners and experts by experience, working to understand and address substance use-related harm in older populations. We offer physical and virtual spaces for collaborative thinking to progress research, and responsive policy and practice in this field. We aim to:

  • Provide a forum for sharing and critically discussing current research, policy and practice
  • Consider future directions in substance use and ageing research, and responsive policy and practice
  • Develop and support cross-disciplinary work and cross-sectoral partnerships


We are working to grow our membership of this recently established interest group, which includes academics from across the UK and internationally at a range of career stages, working in epidemiological and exploratory research and intervention development; as well as partners in practice (Drink Wise Age Well: a third sector partnership led by the organisation We Are With You, and evaluated by the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research team from the University of Bedfordshire, developing and delivering alcohol support and treatment services to support older people to make healthier decisions regarding their drinking).

Chair: Dr Deborah Morgan

Co-Chair: Dr Beth Bareham

Joining the SIG:

If you would like to be part of the Substance Use and Ageing SIG, please contact

Please also follow us on Twitter @BSGSubstanceUse


Champions: We’re looking for people to act as champions for key research topics, and influencing policy and practice in this field.

Discussion Groups: We’re looking for people to host discussions of key topics in substance use and ageing research. You could, for example, contribute to an event or webinar in your topic of interest.

Blogs: We provide a platform to publish blogs written regarding topics relevant to substance use and ageing research, policy and/or practice. If this is your first blog, we have plenty of words of advice and can support you in this new venture.

We welcome contributions from academics at all stages in their careers, practitioners and experts by experience

Please get in touch with if you are interested in any of these opportunities


As we establish this SIG, we are working alongside members from academia, practice and experts by experience to organise our inaugural events. We hope to host our first SIG meeting at the BSG Annual Conference (July 2020, University of the West of England).

We welcome attendance from academics at all stages in their careers, practitioners and experts by experience.