Alcohol and substance use: harm reduction & COVID-19

Monday, 19 October 2020
Online | 2.30pm-4.00pm

The issue of alcohol and drugs has come into focus more than ever. Individuals who use substances and/or have a dependency on alcohol can be at greater risk of the COVID-19 virus, as well as other risks and challenges.

This could include the following factors:

  • Individuals that use alcohol dependently and/or substances may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, because of the physical damage caused by substance use
  • Some of the changes required to reduce the spread of the virus may make individuals with alcohol and drug issues less safe
  • The emotional impact of isolation may alter a person’s substance use
  • New styles of intervention may be required
  • Family and friends may be at risk if the person is not following social distancing.

What will you learn?

This course will take a harm reduction approach to addressing substance use in this period.   It will cover the following themes:

  • Basic information about alcohol and drug use and how it can reduce client and community safety and increase levels of risk in the current context, including:
    • the added impact of drugs that are smoked
    • the effects of supply interruption
    • safety issues associated with changed living circumstances
    • the emotional impact of isolation.
  • Steps that can be taken to improve safety and wellbeing outside of the treatment service context:
    • the importance of engagement and harm reduction
    • a trauma informed approach that understands the challenges from the client perspective
    • specific harm reduction techniques
    • Motivational interventions that can help in this period
    • the application of legal frameworks to this client group.
  • How treatment services can help
    • the challenges of prescribing substitute and non-substitute drugs
    • detoxification and alcohol reduction programmes
    • alternative approaches to offering therapeutic interventions.
  • The importance of multi-agency working – both generally and with individuals who will not adhere to social distancing guidance.

This course will focus on practical steps that can be taken in this context.

Who is this course for?

Frontline workers and managers within homelessness and supported housing settings.


How our online training courses work: Each course subject consists of 3 live interactive training modules, which will take place over 3 consecutive weekly installments. The course will be tailored to address the needs of the sector during COVID-19. When you sign up, you will be signing up for all 3 modules.

We ask for a commitment from delegates to attend all 3 sessions. Sessions are not recorded, and slides will not be available until all 3 sessions have taken place.

Module 1: Monday, 19 October  2020 | 2.30pm-4.00pm

Module 2: Monday, 26 October 2020 | 2.30pm-4.00pm

Module 3: Monday, 2 November 2020 | 2.30pm-4.00pm


£75.00 per person - all three modules are included in this price

Payment can be made by card via PayPal. For bookings of 3 or more places, an invoice can be raised - please email to make bookings to be invoiced. We are unable to take requests for invoicing for fewer than 3 people for our online training.

This course is also available to be booked for staff teams of up to 20 people, to be delivered online "in-house" in live interactive sessions on dates to suit your organisation.

Please contact or telephone James on 07375 042 815​ for more information. Prices are from £850 for up to 20 staff members.


For individual/small group bookings for the dates above - Book your place