KFx - Learning of Substance
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Training & Consultancy


This section includes a brief synopsis of each course. For full details, click on the course title in the right hand side column.

General Courses

Introduction to Drugs

This course is aimed at workers or volunteers with little or no previous drugs training or experience. The course provides a good foundation for building further knowledge, and offers an essential starting point for anyone encountering drug use in the course of their work. The course can be offered as a one or two day course.

The course includes: basic drugs information: appearance, effects, cost, method us use, legal framework, social framework, risks of use.

Drugs Awareness - Enhanced Skills

This course is for workers with previous drugs training experience. It assumes familiarity with more common drugs and their effects. The course looks at drugs and drug issues in more detail. This course is flexible and can be tailored to reflect the needs of the group and to explore locally relevant issues.

The course includes drugs in detail, more information about how and why drugs work, how different routes of administration work, less common drugs, planning interventions, high risk activities, polydrug use, harm reduction strategies, treatment modalities, understanding "addiction" and "dependency.

Drugs and Mental Wellbeing

This course is for workers with previous drugs training experience. It assumes familiarity with more common drugs and their effects. The course looks at drugs and drug issues in more detail. This course is flexible and can be tailored to reflect the needs of the group and to explore locally relevant issues.

The course includes drugs in detail, more information about how and why drugs work, how different routes of administration work, less common drugs, planning interventions, high risk activities, polydrug use, harm reduction strategies, treatment modalities, understanding "addiction" and "dependency."

Drugs and Brain Chemistry

About this course: How do we think drugs work within the brain? What do drugs really do at a brain chemical level? And how do we use this information practically. This course is intended to make the subject of neuropharmacology accessible for workers, and enable them to understand key terms, the main neurotransmitters, and the impact of substances on these brain chemicals.

This two day course is aimed at experienced workers who are confident with the key drugs ad want to enhance their knowledge and skills. Workers will need previous substance misuse training.

Substance Specific Modules

Lots of workers, who had attended lots of courses, still said that they didn't feel that they 'understood' key drugs. In a way this made sense. For many who had had done foundation drugs courses, they may only have spent an hour or two on a specific drug, if that.

The following courses were designed to fill that gap: workers could spend a whole day (or two) immersed in a specific drug - and look at it from many different angles. So in these substance specific courses, workers get the chance to explore the history, pharmacology, methods of use, risks, effects, scope for dependency and treatment options with a range of drugs. These courses are a real treat, even for experienced workers!


The most widely used drug in the UK, alcohol brings with an unparalleled level of related harm. This course provides drugs workers and other professionals with an overview of alcohol use, misuse, harm, dependency and treatment, and allows workers to engage with alcohol use effectively and confidently.

This one day course is for workers with or without previous drugs training or experience, who need to develop more detailed awareness of alcohol


The use of benzodiazepines, especially the non-prescribed use of diazepam, is a growing concern. Users - from a wide range of backgrounds - are presenting to drugs services with substantial benzo habits, and workers have felt ill-equipped to respond. This course presents factual information about benzodiazepines, and explores strategies to educate and prevent harm.

This course is for workers with previous drugs training or experience, who need to develop more detailed awareness of benzodiazepines


Although cannabis is the most widely-used illicit drug in the UK, many workers are under-confident when discussing it. This course rectifies this situation, providing the first detailed training on all aspects of cannabis use.

This course is aimed at workers engaging with cannabis users. This includes young recreational users through to more entrenched users. Workers will not need to have had previous drugs training but this will be useful.

Opiates and opioids

In terms of working with problematic drug use, understanding and responding effectively to use of opiates is of crucial importance. This module offers experienced workers an opportunity to explore opiate use in more detail. In turn this is intended to increase understanding, confidence and enhance ability to support and advise opiate-using clients.

The course includes identifying the drugs, how opiates work, routes of administration, understanding tolerance, physical dependency, psychological dependency, withdrawal, health risks and side effects, overdose, harm reduction strategies, detoxification regimes, treatment outcomes.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

While drugs agencies are keen to develop an in-depth understanding of common drugs such as heroin and cocaine, there has been less willingness to understand and work with Performance Enhancing Drugs such as Anabolic Steroids.

At best, most agencies have a lay understanding of the subjecy. At worst there are high levels of misunderstanding and mythology. This course aims to increase workers knowledge of this growing area of work. It runs as a two day course and is appropriate for all drugs workers, especially those working in needle exchanges.

Cocaine, Crack and Other Stimulants

Workers encountering cocaine and crack use are often uncertain how to respond effectively and this module is intended to reduce this uncertainty and increase knowledge and confidence in responding to this growing drug issue.

The course includes demystifying crack and cocaine, methods of use, effects and risks, risk reduction strategies, short and long term effects, mental health issues, strategies for change, treatment interventions, developing appropriate services.

Volatile Substances

Volatile substances are still widely used by young people and less frequently used by older people especially where mental health issues are also present. This module offers a rare opportunity for workers encountering volatile substance abuse to explore the issues involved.

The course includes volatile substances, what they are, products that are misused, how they are used, reasons for use, key risks of use, risk reduction strategies, the law, trends, strategies for interventions, resources.

Drugs, Premises, Housing and Law

No-one in the UK offers the same comprehensive range of drugs and housing courses, offering an unparalleled level of both legal and practical input for both drugs agencies and housing providers. The Drugs and Housing "suite" offers a full spectrum of courses ranging from strategic, regional development, to the needs of front-line workers aand care takers.

Drugs Housing and Homelessness - Strategic Issues

This course looks at the relationship between drug use and housing need. It highlights the linked problems of increased levels of drug use amongst people who are homeless, the increased risk that this drug use poses, and the barriers to services for people who are homeless and use drugs. It goes on to look at the spectrums of drug use and housing and models of housing that are inclusive rather than exclusive of drug users.

This one day courses is aimed at managers and commissioners engaged in or developing services for drug users who are homeless or vulnerably housed. Especially suitable for DAT housing leads, SP commissioners, housing project managers and others with a strategic lead. This course is NOT aimed at Front-line workers.

Drugs the law and Good Practice (one or two day course)

About the course: This course looks at drugs, drug legislation and drugs work from a worker or an organizational perspective rather than a client perspective. The aim is to ensure that workers are clear about their own legal responsibilities relating to drugs, on premises, during visits and in street settings.

This courses is for workers and managers in a variety of settings including residential settings, tenancy sustainment workers, outreach workers, day-centres, children's homes, and any other setting where drug-related behaviour on premises is likely to be an issue. The course can be tailored to meet the needs of front-line workers or managers as appropriate.

Developing drug policies

This course is aimed at service providers, and is aimed at assisting the process of policy development and implementation. While the course cannot provide workers with a ready made solution to their policy needs, the course seeks to equip workers with the theory, content and process of a successful policy. The course includes why have a policy, who should be involved in policy construction, foundations of an effective policy, key elements of a policy, consulting and implementing a policy.

Working with Drug Users in Housing Settings (specialist)

About the course: After the (difficult) policy and legal work has been undertaken, workers may feel under-skilled when it comes to working with drug users, especially those who have complex needs related to their drug use. Workers who have attended "basic" drugs training still may not feel confident engaging and supporting drug users. This course addresses this need. It looks at some of the key knowledge and skill-sets that housing workers will find useful not just in managing drug use on site but also supporting users and promoting change.

This is a two day courses and is appropriate for workers and managers in housing settings working with drug users, especially injectors, dependent users, and users engaging with treatment. Workers will need to have attended a basic drugs awareness course previously, or have equivalent experience. Likewise, attendance at a one or two day Drugs and The Law course is required as this course does not address legal issues in detail. It may be possible to construct a hybrid course which incorporates aspects of both courses.

Working with Drug Users in Housing Settings (generic)

Many housing workers do not encounter drug-related activity on a regular basis, and may not be providing ongoing support to drug users. Their primary concern on encountering drug related activity may be to deal with the immediate situation appropriately, and then refer the matter on to senior colleagues for further action as required. These workers may not need detailed information about the nuances of the law, or about support interventions. This course is intended to address these needs.

This one day course is for workers in generic housing settings encountering infrequent or low-levels of drug use. Previous drugs awareness training is useful but not essential. This course will NOT provide a good level of drugs awareness but will ensure workers can deal safely and legally with common situations.

The Sharp End

The safe removal of drug litter including needles, syringes, and discarded drugs causes a high level or concern and confusion. This no-nonsense course cuts through the myths and confusion and looks at how to deal with various levels of drug litter in a safe and proportionate manner.

This is a half day course and is aimed at caretakers, estate managers, trades, domestic staff, cleaners

Safer injecting

The injecting courses include a range of formats to cater for a variety of different needs. The courses require a level of drugs awareness; for half day and one day courses, basic drug awareness is adequate.

For the two and three day courses, workers will need more extensive drugs knowledge and will have needed to attend advanced drugs awareness training or equivalent.

Issues covered in three-day course includes why people inject, injecting and human physiology, where people inject, injecting technique, IV use, IM use, high risk activity, sharing and infection, equipment, legal issues, injecting injuries, harm reduction strategies, hard-to-reach groups, work with young people, models of exchange provision, sharps handling, getting returns, needle stick injury, record keeping.

Additional or tailored courses can be run which explore young people's needle exchange, femoral injecting and policy and practice in needle exchange.

Families and Drugs (two day)

Addressing drug use within the family is a complex and emotive subject. This module looks at the importance of drug use within the family. It is intended to increase the skills and confidence of workers encountering drug use within family settings. It focuses on the issue of children at risk through drug use within the family but also addresses other aspects of drug use within the family.

The course includes parents and carers - their attitudes to drug use, support issues where drug use is present in families, drug use in the family as a risk factor for children and young people, strategies for assessing parental and carer drug use in the context of child protection.

This two day course can also be run as two seperate one day courses:

Children Drugs and the Family: This course focuses on family drug use as a child protection issue.

Families and drugs: This course focuses on the role of parents and carers as educators and receivers of support.

Young People and Drugs

This course is aimed at people working with or supporting young people in a variety of settings. It builds on existing drugs knowledge and aims to explore drug use as regards young people. The aim is to ensure that practice and services are responsive to the needs of young people who use drugs.

The course includes trends of drug use amongst young people, the HAS tiers, high risk groups, creating accessible services, assessing scenarios, using resources, giving information, issues of confidentiality.

Diversity/Refugees and Asylum Seekers/Womad

These specialist courses explore issues of culture and diversity in relation to drugs. Too often courses have looked at either diversity or drugs and these courses attempt to integrate the subjects so that workers can look at issues of culture and drugs at the same time.

Each of these courses will need to be tailored to local circumstance and need to get in touch to discuss your specific situation in more detail:

"A Day on Drugs" - Drugs young people and Youth Workers

A facilitated, one-day workshop designed for the youth service to explore drug issues and drug policy with both workers and young people.

The "Day on Drugs" brings together youth workers and young people and works through a series of exercises and scenarios. These exercises are intended to facilitate increased access to the youth service for young people who use drugs.

By the end of the course workers and young people will have worked collaboratively to:

Commercial Sector

Increasingly, businesses are becoming aware of the need for drugs awareness, policy and strategy within the workplace. These modules seek to meet these needs. They will give workers and managers the knowledge and skills they need to formulate drugs strategy, respond effectively and legally to drug-related incidents and, importantly, ensure the safety of staff, customers, and a business' hard-won reputation.

Drugs in the workplace

Some of your employees use drugs. You want to retain good staff, but you also want to ensure that drug use does not have an impact on your business. This course for employers will give you the knowledge and tools to develop a workplace drugs policy that allows you to protect business while maintaining a proportional response to drug related incidents.

Includes: drug awareness, drug trends, drug law for businesses, pros and cons of drug testing, responses to drug related incidents, attitudinal issues.

Drugs for the hotel industry

Pubs, clubs and others in the hospitality or entertainment industry have to be aware of their obligations under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. As with any other part of the industry, hotels need to be clear that they know what their legal obligations are in relation to drugs. Drug issues in hotel settings may include a number of issues, including the use or supply of substances by both customers or staff.This package allows managers of hotels to develop an effective in-house drug strategy including:

Includes: Drugs, their appearance and effects, the legal framework and legal obligations, signs of drug use, responding to drug related incidents, staff drug policy.

Drugs on Holiday

Many people, especially young people, see going on holiday as an opportunity for a hedonistic two weeks. This, for some, may include taking drugs. The potential consequences of drug related incidents on holiday can have serious ramifications, not just for holiday-makers but also for the tour company involved. This course is aimed at holiday reps, and enables them to deal with drug related matters effectively and calmly in holiday settings.

Includes: drug awareness, law on importing and exporting drugs and medication, responding to drug related incidents, local drug laws.

Skills-based Courses:

Training the Trainer

This course is not only for people who are interested in training, but for all workers keen to improve their presentation skills. This can be useful in drugs education settings, group work settings, aswell as conference and training settings. The course is for workers who have undertaken previous drugs training and wish to develop their training and presentation skills.

Training and Consultancy Menu:


Courses overview

General Courses

Substance Specific Courses

Drugs, Premises, Housing, and Law Courses

Injecting and Needle Exchange

Commercial Sector

Skills-based Courses

Open Access Courses

In-House Courses

More Information

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