Keep your skills up-to-date or learn some new ones with our free e-learning courses

Although face-to-face training has been suspended across the country, you can still develop your skills through our free to access e-learning courses.

In these challenging times, there is not the opportunity to meet together for traditional face-to-face training. Yet, workers can keep their skills up to date or to learn new ones by accessing any or all of SDF’s seven free e-learning courses which cover a wide range of drug-related topics.

SDF has opened access to a number of the courses, normally free to only people in Scotland, to all colleagues across the UK as a gesture of goodwill during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The courses can be completed in one go or in several sittings to provide a flexible learning experience.

Find out more about the individual courses and how to access them below:


Drug Awareness- An introductory course

One of our most popular e-learning courses is our ‘Drug Awareness’ course, which is ideal to take if you have no knowledge of drug use or if you would like to brush up on your drug awareness knowledge.

This course helps to breakdown the range of reasons why people use drugs and the possible patterns of use. By the end of this course, participants will also have an understanding of the different drugs used in Scotland and harm reduction techniques.

Here’s what some people had to say about the course!

“I found it really engaging, and I liked the variety of tasks in the lessons and the quiz.”

“It was presented, clearly, concisely and in a non-judgemental style. The introduction set the tone describing why people use drugs and the stigma they face. Very cleverly done.”

Available only to people in Scotland.


New Drugs, New Trends? A Worker’s Toolkit for NPS (New Psychoactive Substances)

This course has been designed to meet the needs of workers who come into contact with people who may use New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), also known as ‘legal highs’.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to name the seven categories of substances which apply to NPS and will know about current legislation. Participants will gain knowledge of current and emerging trends with typical patterns of use, including poly-substance use, and will be able to identify techniques that can be used to support people who use NPS.

Here are the reactions of some of the workers who have completed the course;

‘I thought it was excellent and the video clips were very moving at times.’

‘Very user-friendly which allowed me to work at my own pace which assisted me in understanding the content.’

‘I liked the video interviews with people who’ve experienced drug use. They really helped me to understand the motivations behind drug use and the harmful effects they can have.’ 

Available to all throughout the UK.


Bacterial Infections and Drug Use

The need for high standards of hygiene is a particularly current and important issue for staff working with people who use drugs.

This course gives a brief overview of bacterial infections and various outbreaks. It highlights the main signs and symptoms which practitioners should be aware of and provides harm reduction information, which will help you to respond relevantly.

By the end of the course, you will be able to describe the different types of bacteria often associated with drug use and how bacterial contamination can occur. You will also be able to produce an effective response to potential outbreaks which can be implemented in your service.

Here are the reactions of some of the workers who have already, and successfully, used the course;

‘Content was spot on – and easy to use even for someone with poor computer skills,’

‘I enjoyed this course and it would be great to continue learning in such a way. Excellent!’

‘Lots of information to take in on this course but very relevant and useful!’

Available to all throughout the UK.


Hepatitis C and New Treatments

The ‘Hepatitis C and New Treatments’ training course helps participants identify risk factors for hepatitis C, understand the implications of not being diagnosed and describes the benefits of new treatments.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to define hepatitis c, distinguish methods of testing, recall historical treatments and describe new ones.

So far over 250 people have completed the course and this is what some of them said:

“This course really explained Hep C and the new treatments a lot easier than the leaflets I have read about them. Easy to learn but also remember. “

“Now it means I can signpost people I work with to get treatment for Hep C and quash any reservations they may have about commencing the treatment. “

Available to all throughout the UK.


Overdose Prevention, Intervention and Naloxone

This short e-learning course gives participants the opportunity to learn about key aspects of drug-related deaths in Scotland, find out how to prevent an opiate overdose and explains what to do in the case of witnessing an opiate overdose.

By the end of the course, participants will have an understanding of the opiate overdose reversal medication naloxone, where to obtain a kit and how to utilise it in the case of an overdose.

The course can be completed in around an hour, or alternatively, in separate sittings.

A worker who completed the course said:

“it was a really helpful course, I had no awareness as to how to spot the signs of an overdose or how to administer naloxone, but now I feel confident to do both.”

Available to all throughout the UK.


Motivational Interviewing in Brief Conversations

Our newest e-learning course is aimed at assisting professionals who are required to discuss with people about making changes to their lifestyle or behaviours.

The course explores the method of motivational interviewing – a way of having a conversation about change which listens to and calls forth the person’s own motivation for change when they present as ambivalent or reluctant.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to define motivational interviewing, describe the nature of ambivalence about change, describe how the motivational interviewing process influences motivation for change and identify the use of motivational interviewing in brief conversations.

Here’s what some people had to say after they completed it:

“Found it really useful. Was laid out in a really easy to follow way, but made you think about things well”

“I really enjoyed listening to the discussion between the service user and the drugs worker. In fact I have listened to it twice’

Available to all throughout the UK.


Potluck – An introduction to cannabis and synthetic varieties for front line workers

This new course, designed for front line workers in Glasgow, allows participants to explore cannabinoids and their effects and provides an overview of the different forms of cannabis and synthetic varieties.

Participants who take the course, will be able to identify typical presenting issues for problematic cannabis or synthetic cannabinoid use and learn about relevant harm reduction techniques.

The course can be completed in two hours, or alternatively, in separate sittings.

One person stated after completing the course:

“I found the course educational and user friendly. While I have some knowledge about herbal cannabis, I had absolutely no knowledge about resin or oils or the slang/street names for the products.”

Commissioned for and available only to people who work in Glasgow.