Substance Misuse and Associated Health Problems Certificate Course


1 Year, Education

Access for this course is temporarily closed and will reopen in early September. To register your interest in this course please contact –

Course Principal: Dr ├Źde Delargy

Course Tutors: Dr Des Crowley & Dr Marie Claire Van Hout

Duration: 11 weeks

Course Contact:

Next Course date: 25 January 2019, 9.00 until 16.30 at ICGP

Course Programme: please click here.

Click here to download the course brochure.


This course provides in-depth information on recent developments in diagnosis and management of substance misuse problems including alcohol, prescription drugs and illicit substances. Many of the skills acquired on this course (including communication and counselling skills) are applicable across a range of medical problems which may present in a range of clinical settings. Substance misuse related issues are common, presenting in up to 15% of primary care consultations, up to 40% of emergency department consultations and up to 80% of prison admissions. This course will therefore be of interest to GPs, doctors working in Emergency Departments, in the Prison Service or in Infectious Disease departments or other disciplines who wish to improve their knowledge and skills in all areas of substance misuse.

The course is delivered in an e-learning environment through a combination of online modules, interactive workshops and practice-based work, reflecting the major, current and debatable health issues in substance misuse. It is designed and delivered by experienced and practising healthcare professionals, including GPs and consultant psychiatrists and physicians, who have extensive experience in the area of substance misuse. The e-learning modules each contain a number of topics presented by the course teachers with relevant supplementary materials. The workshops are designed to stimulate and forge debate and interaction through a variety of methods that reflect learning styles. Participants will be supported in undertaking a Practice Improvement Project as a component of this course, with a strong focus on improving the quality of a related aspect of care in their own practice setting.

The Certificate in Substance Misuse (and Associated Health Problems) is awarded following full attendance and participation at workshops and the successful completion of all assignments. It is a compulsory component of training for those who wish to train to provide Level 2 care under the Methadone Treatment Protocol.

What is the aim of the course

The aim of this course is to provide course participants with the theoretical framework to assess, manage and refer appropriately patients who misuse substances.

Course objectives

The course objectives will include:

A clear knowledge of the common assessment tools used in substance misuse, a clear knowledge of evidence based interventions, a clear knowledge of the common referral and rehabilitation pathways and a non-judgemental attitude to the management of substance misusers


Workshop dates

  • Friday 25 January
  • Friday 12 April

Course content

The course is broken into 2 learning areas: workshops and e-learning modules.

The workshops include the following modules:

  • Irish and international policy on illicit drugs & alcohol
  • Consultation and communications skills
  • Talking therapies
  • Community programmes and interventions
  • Problem-based learning
  • Planning and implementing a practice improvement project

The following modules are delivered through e-learning:

  • Initial assessment and management of patients with substance misuse problems
  • Pharmacological agents used in the management of substance misuse problems
  • Health impacts: Psychiatric co-morbidities and consequences
  • Health impacts: Physical co-morbidities and consequences
  • Health impacts: Prevention and management of infections
  • Medico-legal considerations
  • Self-care and practice management issues

Tips for Completion of Practice Improvement Project

Please click here for tips on completing the practice improvement project.

Admission requirements

NB: Applicants must have completed the Foundation (Level 1) Course in Substance Misuse in order to be eligible for this Certificate course.

Any general practitioner or registered medical practitioner with an interest in substance misuse may apply. Registrars in general practice, psychiatry or other relevant disciplines are eligible to apply. It is desirable that the candidate is working with substance misuse or planning to do so. If the course is oversubscribed, priority will be given to ICGP members.


Course fee

Course fee: €650*

Discounted fee for members: €500*

*Please note: Current Level 2 GPs may apply for reimbursement on successful completion of the course. Reimbursement may also apply for candidates who proceed to apply for a Level 2 contract within 1 year of completion of the course.

Applications for reimbursement must be emailed to for consideration within a 1 year period of completing the Certificate in Substance Misuse and Health Related Problems Course.

CPD points

A maximum of 40 CPD credits will be awarded for this course.

Related Documents

 MCVH - Presentation 2018 19-01-2018 (MCVH_-_Presentation_2018_19-01-2018.pdf | 473 KB)
 Certificate in Substance Misuse Project Report Guidelines (Certificate_in_Substance_Misuses_Project_Guidelines.pdf | 283 KB)
 Brochure for SMAHP (Brochure_for_SMAHP.pdf | 359 KB)
 January Workshop timetable (Timetable_WS_1_-_January_2019_-_Final.pdf | 355 KB)


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