This qualification is designed for learners who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of substance misuse in order to:

  • raise awareness of substance misuse and its consequences
  • improve the knowledge, awareness, understanding and effectiveness of those currently working in the field of substance misuse or supporting people involved in substance misuse
  • work to prevent substance misuse

This qualification does not lead directly to an employed role. However, the knowledge gained would be useful in a variety of settings, both professional, paraprofessional and personal, for example:

  • supporting those working in Tier 1 services by providing an overview of the subject
  • enhancing understanding of those already working therapeutically eg counsellors, support workers, key workers
  • benefiting parents and carers by virtue of increased knowledge and awareness
  • helping and supporting others either in a voluntary or employed capacity.
Entry requirements

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


Funding is not available for this qualification. 

Where to study Use our centre finder to find a 'Level 2 Award in Understanding Substance Misuse (USM-L2)' course.
Key Information Qualification Number 500/4684/6 Guided Learning Hours 30 hours (minimum) Total Qualification Time 58 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.