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Young People & Substance Use

This course offers participants the opportunity to understand the key concepts of substance misuse in young people.  The course presents a clear understanding of adolescent development based on clinical research.  It then examines how drug and alcohol involvement evolves at specific times within this development context, and the impact it has on the maturation process.


Young people rarely meet the adult criteria’s for substance misuse problems.  The course explores how young people’s pattern of use differs from that of adults and the treatment implications that are required to address it.   The programme provides training in novel screening approaches and critical skills in setting realistic treatment goals for young people.  It then provides a range of rapid interventions to support young people to change substance misuse especially those who experience more complex needs.


Who is This Course For?


This course will be very helpful to a wide range of professionals whose work brings them into contact with young people.  This would include specialist and non-specialist youth workers, employment services, schools and college welfare teams as well as those working in the Youth Justice System and adolescent mental health.  It may also be relevant to those in highly specialised areas such as enhanced foster care services and asylum services.

Also Available to be Delivered Online?


Yes, Zoom based integration

Course Length


1 or 2 days (9.30-4.30)

Max Number of Attendees 



Resources Required

Flipchart stand & paper

Any seating arrangment


Method of Delivery


The training course is highly interactive, even during presentations. It uses a wide variety of learning approaches including presentations, pairs and small group work exercises and self-assessment.  The course is also supported with free e-learning and further resources to re-cap, review and refresh learning. 


Course Aims & Objectives


The aim of the course is to equip practitioners with the skills, knowledge and understating to work effectively with young drug and alcohol users.


By the end of the course participants will have had opportunities to:           


  • Explore adolescent development in context of the life course

  • Describe the evolution of substance misuse in young people

  • Explain how adolescent substance misuse differs from adults

  • Screen for patters of normative verses complex substance involvement

  • Provide a range of interventions tailored to young substance misusers.



"I found everything useful. Stages of development, trajectories, predictors especially. This was one of the best courses I have attended as it deals directly with the problems my team encounters on a daily basis when working with young people. All in all, an excellent course."
Young Person's Worker

"Everything! It was great to cement the knowledge and add to it! Enjoyed the depth of information and can now relate it back to my practice."
Targeted Substance Misuse Worker

"Booklet - excellent. Exercises to reinforce learning. Being inspired to do some thinking about these issues. The trainer was very good at explaining very difficult concepts and there was lots of good groupwork and discussion. Thank you so much for the two days. It has been so useful and thought provoking. You have helped us to understand a huge wealth of material in an accessible way." 


Drug Education Consultant

"Both days were full of useful and interesting information. Reflecting on own case studies helped to visualise stages of development etc. The course was very insightful and delivered to a high standard. Definitely came away thinking about the topics discussed!! Thank you!"

 Student MH Nurse

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