Availability of cocaine powder has increased across NI since the beginning of the millennium. Most of this has been associated with the night time economy and used alongside alcohol. In 2017 powder cocaine was involved in 13 fatal overdoses, an increase of 10 from the previous year.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug which is usually snorted, acting on the brain and central nervous system. It produces feelings of exhilaration and makes the user feel energised. Crack and freebase cocaine are not snorted but primarily smoked. All types of cocaine can be prepared for injection if the user has the necessary equipment and knowledge.

Extern are aware of the increased use of cocaine generally, and the emergence of crack cocaine especially in Belfast. We are providing a 1-day training course for frontline practitioners to equip them to understand the use of cocaine/crack, it’s impacts and how to work effectively with users.


The course will cover the following:

Types of cocaine

  • Physical and psychobiological effects
  • Overdose presentations and management
  • Dependence
  • Polydrug use with cocaine
  • Common risks
  • Assessment of use
  • Paraphernalia
  • Risk management/harm reduction
  • Interventions including the self-control model
  • Management of the ‘comedown’


Learning methods will include a case study, making safer crack pipes, a baseline knowledge quiz, videos and a presentation. Attendees will receive a comprehensive pack including all handouts and 3 types of crack pipe.

The training will be delivered by Chris Rintoul of Extern’s Drugs and Alcohol Consultancy Service. Chris has worked with the social care field since 1991 and has a particular expertise in reducing drugrelated harms. He provides specialist training, lecturing and consultancy as well as developing written drug-related resources for users and practitioners.

Venue and Times

Tuesday 21 January 2020 from 9:30am to 4:30pm at:


Hydepark House

3 McKinney Road


BT36 4PE

Tel: 02890 840555

A fee of £75 per attendee to include all training materials, lunch and refreshments.

If you are interested in attending this training please email your completed booking form to [email protected]