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Drug awareness

More and more people in the UK are using a wide range of legal and illegal drugs, including your residents and service users. But what are the effects of these substances on the users and those around them? What are the health costs? What are the legal implications for them or for you?

There are many types of drugs that your residents and service users may be using now or have used in the past. Most are illegal and this means legal consequences for the user and for you as service providers. Most will have an impact on the user’s physical and mental health as well as their behaviour, motivation and wellbeing. What should your staff look out for? What should they do if they believe someone is using drugs? What should they do if they are not even sure nowadays if the drugs in question are even illegal?

This course is for all staff who are working with people who use drugs, have used drugs in the past or are affected by drug use in some way. It will provide a practical understanding of the effects of all the different types of legal and illegal drugs misused in the UK and will give participants practical skills in dealing with drug users of all types.

Training focus and outcomes

  • Drug use in the UK: its history and current UK prevalence
  • Exploration of all the different types of drugs used in the UK including cannabis, cocaine, heroin, crack and misused prescribed and legal highs
  • Understanding drugs and the law including section 8 of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act that relates to premises
  • Understanding signs and symptoms of drug use
  • How do drugs affect physical health?
  • How do drugs affect mental health paying particular attention to cannabis use and dual diagnosis?
  • How does drug use affect the housing sector including issues relating to health and safety and dealing with drug-related crime?
  • Exploring some simple but effective methods for working with drug users
  • Understanding what treatment options are available for the range of drug users you will work with.

Who will benefit from this course?

Any members of staff who work with drug users or those affected by drug use including cannabis smokers.

Our trainer

Danny McGowan, BSC, MSC, worked for over 12 years in alcohol and drug treatment before becoming a full-time trainer and consultant. He specialises in translating science into common sense and has an interactive and engaging training style which provides you with practical skills not just a lot of facts and figures.

HQN has a track record of helping organisations achieve real and lasting performance improvements. If you are interested in accessing this training package please contact us by emailing

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