Grounded theory methodology was used to explore the social processes involved in the use of illicit drugs in older African Americans as an underpinning to the development of approaches to nursing care and treatment. Interviews were conducted with six older African American substance users who were currently in drug treatment programs. Responses to the questions were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using constant comparative methods. Three core themes emerged: (a) family, (b) media images, and (c) environment. The core issues of substance abuse, such as the environment and larger societal forces, cannot be addressed by one discipline and mandate that clinicians move to an interdisciplinary approach to achieve a plan of care for this growing population.