RCGP Learning

Substance Misuse and Associated Health

RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health (SMAH) promotes the well being and recovery of individuals by improving the knowledge and competence of GPs and other healthcare professionals who deliver treatment for substance misuse, sexual health and associated healthcare within their communities.

  • We want to help meet the needs of vulnerable people and reduce health inequality
  • We do this through education and training which is evidence based, quality assured and outcome focussed.

Our courses

We offer a range of courses for GPs and the wider primary care team, including:

Each course consists of a compulsory eLearning module followed by training facilitated by an approved RCGP trainer. Delegates are awarded a certificate upon successful completion of both the eLearning and Face to Face training day.

The courses can be linked to CPD hours for appraisal and revalidation.

These evidence-based courses:

  • equip doctors with knowledge and skills to match the competency framework in Delivering Quality Care for Drug and Alcohol Users: the Roles and Competencies of Doctors
  • follow the public health outcomes framework and public health improvement agenda
  • support two of the five priority areas for the Health Improvement Directorate of Public Health England (alcohol and drugs)
  • encourage quality clinical leadership
  • provide practitioners with transferable skills in motivational interviewing, health behaviour change, managing conflict in consultations and patient safety (including medicines management)
  • ultimately encourage patients to keep themselves well, saving vital funds within health budgets.

Find out more about course packages available to external course organisers for local delivery

Type of enquiry Contact email
General enquiries


Management of Drug Misuse Part 1


Management of Drug Misuse Part 2
Management of Alcohol Misuse Level 1


Detection, Diagnosis and Management of Hepatitis B and C in Primary Care



Guidance for Substance Misuse Management

SMAH has worked with partners to produce and distribute guidance relating to key areas in substance misuse management and primary care. Visit the RCGP Bookshop to purchase a hard copy of:

Available in PDF only:

SMAH Addiction to medicines factsheets


SMAH medical director and clinical leads

Dr Linda Harris, Medical Director
Linda has been the Medical Director of RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health (SMAH) since 2005. SMAH programmes provide the skills and capabilities to meet the increasingly complex case management associated with managing the range of substance misuse issues in society. She is leading a strong team of  expert trainers and tutors that deliver courses and develop new projects to meet educational needs.

Prof. Mark Gabbay, Academic Lead
Mark is the Clinical Academic Lead for SMAH and the Head of Department of Health Services Research.  His research interests focus primarily on health services research in general, substance misuse, mental health and fitness for work. He leads the Fit for Work Research Group based in Liverpool University. 

Dr Nat Wright, Clinical Lead for Certificate in the Management of Drug Misuse Part 1 and Part 2
Nat has been with the team since 2008 as Clinical Lead for Drugs Part 2 and has recently taken over Part 1.  His role is to ensure that the courses reflect both development in policy and the evidence base. Nat is pursuing international opportunities to share this knowledge.

Dr Carsten Grimm, Clinical Lead for Management of Alcohol Misuse
Carsten is the current Clinical Lead for Alcohol and co-led with Dr Jack Leach from 2009 until this year. He is working as Clinical Lead for the alcohol services in Kirklees. His main clinical interests are medical assisted withdrawal and treatment of alcohol dependence in primary and secondary care.

  • RCGP SMAH Team
  • Lorna Boothe, Courses and Seminar Manager for Certificate in the Management of Drug Misuse Part 1 and Part 2
  • Robel Eyob, Programme Coordinator, Management of Alcohol Misuse, Hepatitis B and C and Sexual Health (ICSH)
  • Chantal Touchette, Team Administrator
  • Danielle Allen, Team Administrator 

Bank of SMAH representatives

SMAH operates a bank of clinicians with specialist expertise in substance misuse and sexual health. The bank works very closely with the clinical leads to deliver the vision and mission of promoting the wellbeing and recovery of individuals through education and training. The clinicians also work closely with local area providers to develop local knowledge and expertise. In return we offer excellent opportunities to network in this area and influence local and government policy and work with specialists in the field. To apply to become a representative, email smah@rcgp.org.uk.

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