Drugs and Alcohol Awareness


Started on July 19, 2024

Drugs and Alcohol Awareness

Drug misuse is a disorder and refers to a patterned use of a drug in which an individual consumes the substance in amounts, or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others.

Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively – more than the lower risk limits of alcohol consumption.

Who is this course for?

This training is aimed at managers, human resources and staff in all industries who have a critical role to play in reducing drug, alcohol and substance abuse. The course is intended for anyone in a position to spot the signs of drugs and alcohol misuse early and put processes in place to minimise the damaging effect of substance misuse both to the user and those they come into contact with.

Drugs Misuse

Drugs are comprised of different chemical structures and can affect the body in different ways . Some drugs will change the brain and body in ways that will last long after the person has ceased their drug misuse. Some of these changes can be permanent. The ways different drug forms enter the body are through injection, inhalation and ingestion.

Drugs hijack the reward system of the brain, causing it to be flooded with large amounts of dopamine which produce the high – or euphoria. When a drug enters the brain, it can change how it performs. Repeated misuse can result in compulsive craving, drug seeking behaviour and ultimately addiction. Individuals who live with drug addiction have a higher risk of poor outcomes such as:

  • Accidents and Injuries
  • Risk of Domestic Violence
  • Criminality
  • Health Problems

Illegal Drugs

The idea that specific drugs have fixed and predictable effects which are the same from person to person is extremely widespread but is a fallacy.  In his book ‘Drug Set and Setting, the basis for controlled intoxicant use’, 1984 the author Norman Zinberg stated that three factors need to be considered when looking at the effect of a drug on an individual

  • The pharmacological action of the substance
  • The psychological and physical attitude of the user and their gender, health, expectations and personality.
  • The influence of the environment where the drug misuse occurs.

The course examines some of the most commonly used drugs in the UK. We look in detail at the origins of these drugs, the effects they produce on the body and the health and social problems they cause for those who use them habitually. The drugs we discuss are:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines
  • LSD
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Barbiturates
  • Tranquillisers
  • Ketamine
  • Steroids
  • Psychoactive substances
  • Spice
  • GHB and GBL
  • Nitrus Oxide
  • Solvents

Alcohol Misuse

In 2017 there were 7697 alcohol specific deaths, around 12.2 per 100,000 people, the highest level since 2008. In England there are estimated to be 600,000 dependant drinkers of whom around 80% are not accessing treatment. Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among the 15-49 year old age group in the UK. It is the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.

Although alcohol is classified as a depressant, the amount of alcohol consumed determines its effect. It will slow down the body’s responses in a number of ways.  A small amount of alcohol will make an individual feel relaxed and sociable, reducing feelings of anxiety and inhibition. Excessive amounts of alcohol is very harmful and can cause coma or even death. Alcohol tends to exaggerate the individual’s mood, depending on whether they are happy or depressed state when they start to drink. Alcohol can cause a wide range of physical problems including:

  • Alcohol-related cancers
  • Heart problems
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Risk of falls and accidents
  • Liver diseases
  • Pancreatitis
  • Weakened immune system

Alcohol Misuse in the Workplace

Employers have a general duty under Health and Safety at Work act 1974 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical the health, safety and welfare of their employees. If they knowingly allow an employee under the influence of alcohol to continue working that places the employee or others at risk, they could be prosecuted. Similarly, employees have a legal duty of care to themselves and others who could be affected by what they do.

The course offers a useful 4-Step approach of dealing with alcohol problems at work, starting with identifying the problem. This program will help employers with

  • developing the skills to identify when there is a problem
  • having the knowledge to know what actions to take
  • setting up the support and communications facilites to enable action to run smoothly
  • reviewing and monitoring the effectiveness of the strategy.

Alcohol and Drugs Company Policies

All organisations, large and small, can benefit from agreed policies on alcohol and drugs abuse, which applies to all staff.  These policies should form part of the company’s overall Health and Safety policy.

This course gives you the tools to be able to craft an effective policy on the misuse of drugs and alcohol, identifying and detailing important areas on concern, such as

  • Rules and responsibilities relating to managers, supervisors and employees
  • Safeguards and support
  • Confidentiality
  • Screening
  • Disciplinary procedures

The course concludes with a module on treatment services and how to access support, outlining different levels of support available depending on the severity of the misuse.

Course ContentModule
Statistics and Signs of Misuse1
Illegal Drugs Part 12
Illegal Drugs Part 23
Alcohol Misuse4
Company Best Practice Part 15
Company Best Practice Part 26
Company Best Practice Part 37
Drug Treatment Services and Further Support8

Recommended System Requirements
• Browser: Up to date web browser
• Video: Up to date video drivers
• Memory: 1Gb+ RAM
• Download Speed: Broadband (3Mb+)

Duration: 80 minutes (Note: This is based on the amount of video content shown and is rounded off. It does not account in any way for loading time or thinking time on the questions).

Other related courses to Drugs and Alcohol Awareness include

Workplace Health and Safety