Level 2 Award in Understanding Substance Misuse (USM-L2)

View the Candidate Guide for USM-L2

At a glance information

Qualification Number 500/4684/6
Guided learning time 30 hours
Credit value 6
Minimum age 16 years


USM-L2 is a stand-alone qualification. However, progression is available to Level 2 or Level 3 National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in Health & Social Care (H&SC), and/or level 2 counselling skills qualifications and/or level 3 substance misuse qualifications.

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If you want – or need – to know why people misuse drugs and alcohol, and the effect this has on vulnerable individuals and society as a whole, you will benefit from taking our Level 2 Award in Understanding Substance Misuse.

Understanding Substance Misuse will help you:

  • learn about the effects of different drugs
  • understand the harm caused by substance misuse
  • recognise the main signs and symptoms of using specific drugs – including alcohol
  • identify the link between HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and substance misuse
  • know how drugs and alcohol affect pregnancy
  • recognise the signs and symptoms of an overdose of drugs or alcohol
  • identify the assumptions and stereotypes associated with substance misuse.

Entry requirements

No previous training or experience is required to undertake this qualification but please read section 5 of the Qualification Document for further information.


USM-L2 is eligible for limited funding support. Find out more by reading our funding guide for students.

Where to study

Use our centre finder to find a Level 2 Award in Understanding Substance Misuse course near you.

Important documents

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