Awareness of Alcohol and Substance Misuse

Helping learners to identify the signs of illegal drug use or alcohol abuse.


Why take this course?

This e-learning course is broken down into four easy-to-follow units: an introduction and three study units. It will help learners to identify the signs that service users are using illegal drugs or misusing legal drugs such as alcohol. The course will enable learners to provide people in their care with more effective guidance and non-judgmental advice about ways of tackling their issues.

What you will experience

Unit 1: An introduction to alcohol and substance misuse.

Unit 2: This unit explores how different drugs affect brain chemistry and the reasons why people take them. Learners look at how they are categorised and learn about the short- and long-term risks they pose for users. The unit covers legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine as well as illegal forms such as cannabis and cocaine.

Unit 3: In this Unit learners identify the reasons why people take drugs and examine their own attitude to drug users. You will explore patterns of behaviour, types of addiction and how to spot the signs of misuse and the symptoms of withdrawal. Throughout this Unit, misuse refers to the use of illegal drugs and the misuse of substances such as alcohol, solvents and prescribed drugs.

Unit 4: This Unit encourages learners to apply what they have learned in the course so far to their work, and helps identify the effects of combining substances with medication whilst describing the importance of offering non-judgemental support when necessary. It goes on to explain how risk assessments play a part in supporting service users and provides guidance on advising people about minimising the risks of misuse. The course concludes by providing information and guidance about the implications of service users misusing substances, and how to access support and advisory services on behalf of people in your care.

female with childcare book

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course will require you to manage your workload independently, without tutor support.

Subject area

Entry requirements

Previous knowledge or experience would be of benefit but is not essential.

What you will need

Students must have access to a computer with a broadband internet connection.

What you need to know

Anything else?

This is a Self Study course which means you can study at home, in the workplace or wherever you choose at times that are convenient for you. You do not have any classes to attend. The materials for this course are provided as webpages for you to work through online. As you progress through the course materials you will find explanations of each feature, followed by practical exercises. You will be supported throughout the course by a specialist Distance Learning Tutor. Your tutor will contact you (via your College email account) within 7-10 working days of receiving your welcome letter and materials.

As you progress they will continue to make regular contact to offer support and guidance, usually by e-mail but sometimes by phone, to ensure you are making good progress and to support your learning throughout. Please note that you must be able to study independently through the course materials.

This course can be accessed through Blackboard which is North East Scotland College's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Through Blackboard you will be able to access your learning materials, information and communicate with other students. A short guide to Blackboard has been provided for your use.

Whilst studying with Business & Community Development, you will have access to the Library+ sites and the IT Centre. You will also have technical and administrative support from Business & Community Development team.

Please note that it is a requirement that all email communication between staff and students is made using College email accounts. This ensures that the College complies with Data Protection legislation and that information is accessed only by authorised users.

Next steps



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Starts Duration Fees Code
1 August 2017 9 Hours £40.00
Paper applications only

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.