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Drugs, drugs, drugs, which are good, which are bad?

Drugs, drugs, drugs... take this survey and tell us what you've done! The TRIP! Project's own volunteer Leanne WIlkins is undertaking her masters research in cognitive neuroscience and is looking to see the effects of various drugs on the mind. It's 100% confidential so fill it out today! Note that the survey does take time so make sure you have some set aside. Be sure to read the consent form so you know the benifits and risks of participating.

Take the survey today!

EMPOWER: Youth, Arts, and HIV/AIDS Activism Launch Party!

Empower Manual


Empower: Youth, Arts, and HIV/AIDS Activism
Launch Party!


Check out Drag Performances,
Interactive Panel Discussions, Fashion,
Visual Art Exhibitions, Discussion Panels, and Sexy Safer Sex Information! Come
out to an interactive, action-packed World AIDS Day event with performances,
exhibitions and discussions by local youth activists and educators,
service providers and community organizers. This is a Queer Positive


This FREE interactive symposium will
launch "Empower: Youth, Arts and
Activism: An HIV/AIDS Activism Manual for Youth by Youth." For more
information on the manual, see below.


Performances, Exhibition and Discussion by:

  • Kim Simard, Prise Positive
  • Jay, Romeo and Company, sprOUT, Griffin Centre
  • Nidhi Punyarthi, Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention
  • Jessica Yee, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
  • Jessica Whitbread, No Pants No Problem Party Organizer
  • Henry Luyombya, Peer Educator, Planned Parenthood
    Positive Prevention
  • Jenn Yee, Visual Artist
  • Lulu Gurney and Aaron Chan, Youth CO
  • David Lewis-Peart, Mary Yehdego, and Shani Robertson,

More to Come!

Everyone is welcome. Snacks & Refreshments
Provided. Guests will
receive a free copy of the manual upon arrival.
For questions or more information, please contact



Date: November, 26, 2009
Time: 6:00 - 9:00pm
Place: William Doo Auditorium*,
New College, University of Toronto.
45 Willcocks
(SW Corner of Willcocks and Spadina. Closest Subway Station: Spadina)

* Wheelchair accessible.

*** The launch will be preceded by a
talk by Dr. Jessica Fields
(Sociology, City University of New York), "Under Lock and Key: Sex
Education and the Effort to Prevent and Protect", as well as a
networking reception. These events are organized as part of the Youth
Sexual Health RIG.

Event date/time: November 26, 2009
4:00 - 5:30: Dr. Jessica Fields talk - Women and Gender Studies
Lounge, 2nd Floor Wilson Hall Residence (20 Willcocks)
5:30 - 6:00: Networking Reception
6:00-9:00: Manual Launch & Symposium - William Doo Auditorium (45


Empower: Youth, Arts, and Activism


The manual, Empower: Youth, Arts, and
Activism, is designed for youth
by youth, and features a diverse range of projects put forward by
passionate, inspiring and fired-up individuals committed to social
change. Each individual, group and project is committed to challenging
social and structural issues around HIV and AIDS. From HIV positive
youth fighting stigma to peer education projects and safer sex
parties, this manual honours the work of communities creating spaces
to talk about the issues that matter most. And? each project is
accomplished with the use of art!



Action Network
Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention
Centre for Urban Health Initiatives


Printing of the manual has been
generously supported by CATIE.
To order a FREE copy of the manual after the launch, please visit the
CATIE Ordering Centre at after the launch. CATIE Centre
Catalogue Number ATI-26158.

Peer Research 101


For Us, By Us: Peer Research 101 features peer researchers from Queen West and Access Alliance Community Health Centres.  Produced by TRIP! Coordinator Lisa Campbell Salazar it is an educational webinar on community based research ethics produced in association with the Toronto Community Based Research Network .

Bust at the Zone

During a 'routine sweep' Police raided the afterhours club, the Comfort
Zone, early Sunday morning arresting over 100 people, but releasing
around 75% of them. Most of those charged, were charged for possession
of illegal drugs including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and GHB
with a value of $30,000. About $35, 000 cash was also siezed.


Read the National Post article for full info.

The Story of Mr. A, who took 25 tabs of E a day...

e pillz

Unbelievable! But according to doctors of the addiction centre at St. George Medical School in London, England it's true. Between the ages of 21 and 30 the patient only known as Mr. A is thought to have taken approximately 40 000 Ecstasy pills (Times Online). Over the course of his use he gradually increased his dosage from 5 on the weekends to 25 a day.

His psychiatrist, Dr. Christos Kouimtsidis reports that Mr. A has trouble functioning in everyday life and is afflicted by "severe short-term memory problems, hallucinations, paranoia and muscle rigidity". And yet the man is still alive.

This certainly tells us something about the supposedly 'Killer Ecstasy'. It would seem that our leaders have been a a but on the hysterical side while demonizing E, a drug that is statistically less deadly than aspirin.

Richard Burnstrom, the Chief of Police for North Wales, has publicly stated that very fact - Ecstasy is a remarkable safe drug, safer than aspirin and far safer than tobacco and alcohol. He has also predicted that the legalization of all drugs in Britain will be inevitable within 10 years time because prohibition doesn't work.

You can read Chief Burnstrom's statements in more detail here.

TRIP! Unveils Two New Flyers: Safer K-Holes and Responsible Drug Use

Hot off the presses! The TRIP! Project has just released
two new pieces of harm reduction literature for the partyers of Toronto.

'Safer K-Holes' describes what a k-hole is and what to
do in case of an emergency. It also contains tips on how to stay as
safe as possible while k-holing and general tips on safer ketamine use.

'Responsible Drug Use' is an important addition to
TRIP's library. It flows through a series of thought-provoking
questions that every drug user should periodically ask themselves. It
asks us to check ourselves to see if trouble is brewing and if our life
goals are coinciding with the nature of our drug use. After all, we
should be in control of our drug use rather than our drug use controlling us.

Look for both these flyers at a TRIP! booth near you or
stop by our offices in the Queen West Community Health Centre at 168
Bathurst St. between Noon-5pm Tue/Wed/Fri to get some copies.


We're Recruiting New Volunteers!



Know a lot about safer partying? Want to learn? Want to educate others and volunteer at parties? Get involved with TRIP!

The TRIP! volunteer training involves a 5-day training course (spread
across 5 consecutive Saturdays, 11am-6pm) and which features
workshops on various topics related to harm reduction, HIV prevention,
and safer partying. These trainings are offered twice a year.

To be eligible for our volunteer program you must:

  • be between the ages of 16-30
  • be a former or current participant in Toronto's dance music scene
  • be able to attend all trainings (all of which occur in downtown Toronto)
  • jive with our harm reduction philosophy
  • have
    a fun and open attitude, a willingness to learn, and be able to
    contribute time and energy to the project on a regular basis

To indicate your interest in being trained, contact TRIP! by calling 416-703-8482x125, emailing!

The Return of Safer Snorting

Safer SnortingWe're proud to announce the return of our much-loved 'Safer Snorting' booklets - complete with personal snorting device!  This booklet was initially released in 2003 and met with huge success and all-round positivity by community members.  The Safer Snorting booklet identifies the health risks associated with sharing straws and rolled-up bills when snorting drug -- with a particular focus on Hepatitis C transmission.  We're all stocked up with 10, 000 of the puppies so next time you're at a party be sure to swing by the TRIP! booth and pick one up!

TRIPping at WEMF 2007!

TRIP! outreach workers and volunteers went to the World Electronic Music Festival (WEMF) last weekend and have finally recovered along with the other 5000 attendees! Well, almost recovered.

A good thousand people visited us at the TRIP! booth this year, most of which wanting to grab our popular ‘drug eyes’ poster and pocket a handful of condoms.

Many of the booth visitors wondered about having pill testing available, with one offering to leave his testing kit with us for the weekend! As TRIP cannot do pill testing, we encouraged him to continue testing his and his friends pills at his campsite, but to be careful of security walking around the site.

GHB made its presence quite known to the partiers and medics this year, with a number of people finding themselves waking up in the sawdust-filled medic building. There was even talk of a ‘wemf fad’ involving heart-monitor marks and stickers due to the sheer number of those walking around the festival with them.

The medics were careful not to kick anyone out of WEMF this year, nor let security know too many details of any overdoses to avoid the removal or arrests for seeking some refuge and medical attention. While some people may have benefited from a night (or afternoon or morning) away from the WEMF binge, no one wants to be afraid to go to the medics for help. Way to go Adam and crew!

Aside from the confiscated needle exchange supplies, the WEMF security treated us TRIPpers with a lot of respect and many of them came into the booth to personally thank us for what we are doing for the event.

Welland, ON was apparently thrilled at the festival livening up their city, perhaps due to the estimated $1 million put into their shops, restaurants and recreation facilities. Kevin wrote a review on Torontoist!

Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon blasts Chair of Drug Abuse Committee on CBC

Today on CBC Radio News Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon took on drug policy conservative Barry McKnight.  McKnight claims that higher concentrations of THC in pot are creating criminals and crippling Canadian youth.  Grinspoon took on this falacy by presenting the point that stronger drugs mean that users will moderate their use.  Grinspoon challenged the reclassification of marijuana as a Level 1 sustaince by stating that when US drug companies created the synthetic canaboid pill called Marinol they had it classified at Level 2, so that it could be perscribed by phsyicians.  If a synthetic drug that is classified at Level 2 has 100% levels of THC it does not make sense to classify a substance that is of a lesser concentration at Level 1. Humbled, McKnight thanked Grinspoon for his research stating that "families need information" about these harmful substances.  Grinspoon responded wittily that families need correct information, not hyped up propaganda.  Youth need correct information about marijuana, a substance that is signifigantly less toxic than alcohol, so that they can consume it in a responsible manner. 

Maybe we should be calling Professor Grinspoon to see if he'd be interested in making an anonymous donation?  One thing is for sure, it is questionable whether the Conservative government's $64-million anti-drug stratagy will find it's way to funding harm reduction initiatives like TRIP.  "They haven't explicitly said they are getting rid of harm reduction, but the budget numbers speak for themselves," said Leon Mar, spokesman for the Canadian HIV-AIDS Legal Network. "There is no money for harm reduction, which is quite ominous for what will be."  Canada is known around the world for its inovative harm reduction programs.  The next thing you know, Harper is going to start spending money on silver rings and distributing them around high schools.  Just don't be suprised if teen pregnancy and drug overdoses go up!

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