Homelessness, Rough Sleeping and Substance Misuse

The full day course is designed to improve your understanding of substance misuse and evidence based interventions for working with homeless and rough sleeping substance users.

Use of heroin, crack and alcohol are an enduring feature of homelessness in the UK.  Increasingly new psychoactive substances such as synthetic cannabinoids (spice/mamba) are also becoming a mainstay within the homeless population. This training aims to improve your understanding of what substances are used within this cohort and examines the risks, effects and motivators for use.

The session will take a practical view to working in a more informed way with homeless clients that use or are at risk of using a range of substances.

Who Should Attend?

This course is suitable for new frontline staff or experienced professionals who want to update their skills, as well as senior management who want to inform organisational policy around legal highs and intervention.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course you will:

  • Be familiar with a range of substances, their effects, methods of use, risks and legal status
  • Understand the availability, prevalence of substances
  • Have an awareness of the links between homelessness, mental health and substances
  • Have a greater understanding of current research about NPS/Synthetic Cannabinoids
  • Understand the motivation for the use of substances in a homeless/rough sleeping context
  • Understand the basics of harm reduction using process and prevention approaches
  • Be familiar with the risks and challenges faced by rough sleepers who engage in injecting behaviours


One-day course

DANOS Competencies:

AB2 Support individuals who are substance users
AA1 Recognise indications of substance misuse and refer individuals to specialists
AD1 Raise awareness about substances, their use and effects
HSC33 Reflect on and develop your practice