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Drug Awareness For Security Personnel

Drug Awareness For Security Personnel


Drugs, unfortunately, are very much part of the UK social scene. The resulting behaviour from taking them can vary considerably. For security personnel, people under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be challenging to deal with, causing problems with other members of the public. 

Drug users can cause disruption, even violence towards themselves and others—including security officers. It is essential for security personnel to have training in the street & prescription drugs they will encounter in their work, especially door supervisors and CCTV operators at events. Most street drugs have slang or street names to conceal what they are—even special emojis! Selling of all drugs is an illegal activity and as security personnel, you need to alert for signs of this happening in your area.

Awareness & Training For Security Personnel

By UK law, all security personnel need to be licensed. There are several SIA licences that you can train for that include

✅ Security Guard

✅ Door Supervisor

CCTV operator

✅ Close Protection Officer

Depending on the work or career path you want in the security industry, you will need one, if not more, SIA licences. One of the most popular training courses to undertake is the 6-day Door Supervisor training, which includes drug awareness training. 

The course gives you the essentials to work effectively in the community, safeguarding the public and property. Another unfortunate aspect of the drug trade is that it continues to introduce new drugs into society. As a security operative, you need to keep up-to-date on street and prescription drugs.

Common Drugs Found On The Streets


Street names: Marijuana also known as Weed, Pot, Hashish, Hash, Green, Bud, Grass, Trees, Reefer, Herb, Mary Jane, Ganja, Hemp, Dope, Chronic, Kush, Sinsemilla, Purple

Haze, Skunk

Cannabis is one of the most well-known illegal drugs around the world –  very noticeable by its aroma.

Physical indicators of use

✅ Lack of coordination 

✅ Red eyes 

✅ Dilated pupils

✅ Increase in heart rate 

✅ Irrelevant giggling.

The abuse of prescription drugs is common in teenagers. Easy to get hold of their popularity has increased in recent years. These are often the drugs prescribed to help you sleep and fight anxiety. A cause of concern is the continued sales of illegal substances throughout the country. 


Street names: Benzos, Bars, Chill Pills, Blues, Downers, Planks, Nerve Pills, Tranks, and Zanies.

This group of drugs are prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders. Found in tablets, capsules and injection form. There are several drugs found in this group, including

#Valium – not as commonly prescribed due to abuse. It is normally prescribed for anxiety.

Street names: Vallies, Eggs, Moggies, Jellies.

#Xanax – only available on private prescription

Street names: Xan, Xanies, Zan, Zannies, Zanbars, Z-BarsBars, Ladders, School Bus,

Bicycle Handlebars, Footballs, French Fries, Hulk.

#Ativan – prescribed for sleep problems, anxiety & depression. 

Street names: Candy, Downers, Trans

Physical indicators of use 

✅ Tiredness & drowsiness

✅ Excessive emotional responses

✅ Aggression; unusual behaviour

✅ Slurred speech

✅ Confusion

✅ Unsteadiness.

Watch out for tablets and capsules of various colours – green and yellow for Temazepam. Needles and syringes.


This group of drugs are stimulants working on the central nervous system. This category of drugs contains both prescription & illegal substances. These can be sold as tablets, powder and for injecting.

Prescription drugs


Street names: Speed, Whiz, Amph, Addys, Uppers, Beans, Black Beauties, Pep Pills, Speed, Dexies, Zing, Study Buddies, Smart Pills.

#Ritalin, Concerta are the brand names of Methylphenidate

Street names: Smarties, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Pineapple, Kibbles and Bit, Skittles,

Vitamin R, R-ball, Rids, Rit, Diet Coke, Kiddie Cocaine, Kiddie Coke, Skippy.

Illegal Street Drugs 


Street names: Snow, Sniff, Sneeze, White, Nose Candy, Coke, Blow, Rock, Crack, Yayo, Bernice, Toot, Line, Dust, Flake

#Ecstasy or MDMA

Street names: X, E, XTC, Molly, Rolls, Hug, Hug Drug, Love Drug, Lover’s Speed, Beans, Adam, Eve, Clarity, Moon Rocks, Happy Pill, Dancing Shoes, Scooby Snacks, Candy, Peace, Uppers.

These drugs carry a high risk of adverse reactions. Often they are mixed with other toxic substances like speed, PCP, DXM & PMA.

Physical indicators of use

✅ Confused thinking

✅ Alternating moods 

✅ Abundance of energy 

✅ Jerky movements 

✅ Dry mouth 

✅ No appetite

✅ Inability to sleep

✅ Exhaustion

✅ Toxic psychosis


Street names – Vike, Watsons, Watson-387, Vics, Vicos, Hydros, Lorris, Fluff,

Scratch, Norco, Idiot Pills, Tabs, 357s

These drugs work on the brain to suppress pain and boost feelings of pleasure, so they have become popular for misuse.

#Vicodin – not widely available in the UK, but ‘Vike’ is a popular Hollywood drug prescribed for pain.


Street names: Vike, Watsons, Watson-387, Vics, Vicos, Hydros, Lorris, Fluff,

Scratch, Norco, Idiot Pills, Tabs, 357s


Street Names – O.C., Oxycet, Oxycotton, Oxy, Hillbilly Heroin, Percs, O, Ox,

Blue, 512s, Kickers, Killers

Physical indicators of use

✅ Excessive drowsiness

✅ Pinpoint pupils

✅ Exhaustion – that often leads to dehydration

What Is The Role Of Security Personnel

This is a difficult one. It is not always easy to spot drug use or even selling them. Users and drug dealers are well aware of being monitored and take precautions. However, your door supervisor training will highlight what you need to know that includes

✅ Identifying the key areas of drug misuse legislation

✅ Recognising the signs and symptoms of drug abuse

✅ Identifying the most common types of illegal drugs

✅ Identifying the signs of drug dealing

✅ Dealing with customers found with drugs

✅ Knowing the procedures for handling seized drugs

✅ Disposing of contaminated waste

✅ Identifying health and safety issues concerning illegal drugs

Training is the building block to grow your expertise in this area. Our Get Licensed training partners are aware of the seriousness of this problem. The training you undertake for the Door Supervisor licence will provide you with the skills and confidence to be effective in this area of the job.

Interested in knowing more about the courses for SIA licences? Take a read here to learn about the training courses and the available job opportunities once you have your licence.


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