Can Toronto's clubland chaos be reined in?
Submitted by admin on Wed, 11/09/2011 - 17:17.
Can Toronto's clubland chaos be reined in?
Submitted by admin on Tue, 10/18/2011 - 00:21.
Tuesday November 8, 2011
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Join us for a conversation with youth and bar/club operators about safety issues in Toronto’s nightlife scene. Topics include pre-drinking, illicit drugs, sexual aggression and strategies for reducing harm. Come out and share your views and ideas for creating safer bars and clubs.
Jerry Levitan (lawyer, musician and Academy Award nominee) will moderate the forum. Speakers include Yamina-Sara Chekroun (youth outreach worker/event promoter), Nav Sangha (venue owner/DJ), Mike Homewood (Homewood Security) and Samantha Wells (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health).
Featuring DJs and light refreshments.
RSVP on Facebook @ http://tinyurl.com/SaferNightlife2011
This event is brought to you by the Toronto Safer Nightlife Committee comprised of youth, TRIP!, Toronto Public Health, the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Asian Community AIDS Services, the Entertainment District Business Improvement Area, the Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Social Development, Finance & Administration and Municipal Licensing & Standards.
Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/14/2011 - 15:30.
Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 01:08.
Ketamine has been known to be habit-forming. Some people establish routines of repeated use and find them difficult to break. Tolerance can build up pretty quickly with frequent use. Ketamine is not physically addictive although regular users may experience extreme cravings when trying to quit. The following symptoms typically occur when people binge on Ketamine. These symptoms are rare for those who are using Ketamine infrequently.
Heavy use of Ketamine can cause the user to experience severe abdominal pains known as “k-pains” The pain is caused by the inflammation of the hepatic and common bile ducts, which connect the gallbladder to the liver. K pains are extremely agonizing. Although taking more Ketamine may temporarily take away the pain, in the end it will likely only worsen the condition. Depending on the severity of the inflammation the pain can last a few minutes or could last up to a few days.
If you are experiencing pains,
Bladder and Urinary Tract Irritation and Damage
Ketamine can irritate the bladder and the tubes that connect it to the kidneys and to the urethra (piss hole). If the bladder becomes irritated and the user continues to take Ketamine serious permanent damage can occur.
Heavy Ketamine use can cause ulcers in the bladder. These ulcers scar the bladder making it unable to expand. This bladder shrinkage results in having to piss more often and sometimes pain in the bladder area. The bladder can heal to an extent but it will never be the same as it was before. Some people require bladder surgery, or removal, and in serious cases it can also lead to kidney damage.
Moderation is important with Special K! If you do a lot of K in a single sitting, or you use constantly for days, you are are more prone to damage. If you’re going to use ketamine you need to drink water to help prevent it from irritating your insides! We recommend you drink water even when you’re not on drugs, cause water’s awesome! But it’s very important to remember to drink plenty of water when you’re using K, especially if you’re using a lot. Just remember to eat some food or get some electrolytes (i.e. sports drinks). It’s good to drink water the day after as well because K is turned into other chemicals which stay in your body until the day after you use, and may also cause irritation. If you do end up with the symptoms listed below keep drinking water and cutting out K would be a good idea or you can risk serious life changing damage to your body.
The symptoms of Ketamine bladder irritation/damage are:
What to do:
If you have pain in your genitals a warm bath may help. If you are have been experiencing symptoms for a while after you stop using, or you are in a lot of pain for a long time you should see your doctor or visit the emergency room. Tell them you have injured you bladder from Ketamine use, and it may be important to see urologist. If your doctor or urologist needs more information about Ketamine bladder syndrome, refer them to the case studies referenced here, or tell them to go to www.ketaminebladdersydrome.com
Ketamine damages the bladder in a similar way to another condition called interstitial cystitis. Following the guidelines for treatment and self-help for the condition does help to varying degrees with Ketamine bladder syndrome. You can find info and links here http://ketaminebladdersyndrome.com/KBS/Self-Help.html
Urologists may attempt to treat your bladder with instillations (liquids put inside the bladder), or oral medications to help your bladder heal and make it less sensitive so you don’t have to pee so much. If your bladder becomes severely damaged you may need surgery to rebuild it or remove it. If you get your bladder removed you will have to wear a bag to collect your urine, and people often have loss of sexual function. If you suffer kidney damage you may need dialysis which is when you need to get your blood filtered by a machine.
Check out these resources:
Ketamine Bladder Syndrome:
One mans personal story of k addiction, he mentions bladder problems and k pains
Hong Kong Ketamine bladder case study
Hong Kong K Pains case study
Toronto Ketamine bladder Case Study (St. Michaels hospital)
A review of 233 cases of Ketamine abuse Hong Kong
Submitted by admin on Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:38.
Health education can be tricky. There's many factors to consider when implementing a public health campaign. Demographic of the target audience and the right tone when addressing this audience is key. Oftentimes, especially with campaigns geared at youth and drug use things get topsy-turvy. The wrong tone can mean an ineffective, often counterproductive campaign. Anti-oppression should be a core value of all education. Judgement and/or discrimination needs to be avoided at all costs. Education is key and honesty goes a long way. This seems pretty simple and straight-forward, right?
Unfortunately, many health campaigns geared at youth do the exact opposite. Many drug prevention efforts rely on scare tactics and abstinence-based “Just Say No” approaches. Youth who use drugs will do so regardless of whether society shakes the finger at them or not. Things aren't white and black, people partake in different risks therefore health education should cater to all sorts of individuals. People who use drugs get shunned, marginalized, pushed out of society and left feeling guilty about their lifestyle. Health education should focus on the education rather than on trying to scare people straight. We should be teaching people about the risks associated with different activities, and encourage critical thinking in order to empower individuals to make informed choices that affect their bodies and minds.
There is an unspoken tension in the social service sector between substance prevention and harm reduction tactics. This is counterproductive. Harm reduction's main mandate is to lower risk levels of current drug users, as well as getting individuals into and familiarized with the healthcare system and providing referrals to other health services including recovery upon request. The main mandate for prevention is to minimize drug misuse/abuse within society and thus improve the overall health of our communities. These two philosophies to healthcare can and should be adjacent.
However, many prevention campaigns still continue to use scare tactics and demonize drug use and drug users. Instead, prevention should focus on recovery services for those who are ready and willing to get help. Not every person who uses drugs is an addict and society can't impose the same standards for everyone. The best way to identify a problematic drug habit is by the individual after proactive self-reflection. You can't help someone who doesn't want help and labelling people as “addicts” or “junkies” further oppresses those who use drugs. Harm reduction should be seen as secondary prevention. It is crucial to provide healthcare services for individuals who use drugs since oftentimes the ritual or way of consuming certain substances is far riskier and detrimental to the individual and society's overall health than the drug itself. A great example of this is sharing needles, straws, pipes and works. All these activities put individuals at risk of transmitting a virus that is a far greater risk than the drugs being used.
We need to be progressive with health education not retrogressive. I encourage you to think twice before bashing crucial, essential and much needed harm reduction services and when implementing prevention campaigns. We need to start thinking about people being affected by these issues with more care, diligence and an open mind. Next time you see a person who uses drugs, think about why they are where they are in life rather than blaming it on their use and walking past blindly.
Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/29/2011 - 19:30.
Submitted by admin on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 22:04.
Submitted by admin on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 20:10.
Come one, come all!
Showcase includes arts workshops, including shuffling, silkscreening, tie dying, and kandi making!!!!!
Submitted by admin on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 18:20.
The drug culture is not what it used to be. Over the last month our group has tested nearly 2,500 substance samples presented to us by patrons of music festivals and concerts.
The results have been truly sobering. Nearly 100% of samples are cut with one or more substances, and they aren’t using baking soda anymore.
Research chemicals, sold as “bath salts” or “plant food” have become an alarming issue. Nearly 60% of “Molly” (MDMA powder) samples tested at Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Camp Bisco contained large quantities of or were completely comprised of one or more of these chemicals. Many of these “research chemicals” present very real overdose fatality risks and have been in news all over the world. There were 8 overdoses attributed to tainted MDMA powder at Camp Bisco. Three of those individuals are no longer with us.
An overwhelming majority of tested LSD samples were negative for the chemical. In the best-case scenario, the sample was just paper. In most instances, the LSD we tested contained compounds such as DO(x), a dark hallucinogen with a three-hour onset (leading to multiple doses) and can last for over 24 hours. Overdose effects include memory loss, irrational and sometimes violent behavior and the possibility of causing harm to oneself. At high doses, analogs of this chemical have the power to change the way the mind works permanently.
What we are doing to help
The Bunk Police deploys an array of chemical reagent tests to identify substances and cutting agents. These tests, although not completely definitive, give us a very good idea what the powder, pill or paper contains. We can test for well over 20 chemical compounds and we are constantly trying to expand our knowledge and capacity to test. The testing equipment that we use at our campsite is the same as Dancesafe.org has been using for over a decade. In addition to these standard tests, we also have the same tests that are used by the State Department, DEA and many EMTs.
Mobile Testing Centers
In addition to a stationary camp, we equip our volunteers with mobile testing kits and send them into what we call “hotspots” where substance sales are taking place openly. When in these locations, our volunteers simply set up a station right there where the action is taking place. On multiple occasions we were able to inform a dealer that he or she was selling a dangerous product leading to its removal from the market.
We are able to identify substances in most cases, however many of the people we deal with are unprepared for the information we’re giving them. In order to deal with this issue, we have compiled comprehensive yet easy to understand reference materials and have volunteers ready to assist in informing our patrons.
I personally conduct a brief information session every day of each event on the changing substance market and drug identification. I will cover the methods used to disguise dangerous cutting agents and how to know what you’re taking is real, as pure as possible and safe. Ents, I come to you weary from battle and in need of advice. Myself and my small group have been working long hours all across the U.S. testing substances and spreading awareness for the last six weeks. We’ve been raided by the Hell’s Angels (security at Camp Bisco) and harassed by the Police and other security forces. In attempting to remove dangerous substances from the market, we’ve run into some of the most intelligent, kindest people and some of the most twisted, greedy and evil souls that this world holds.
If you believe in our cause, please do what you can to help us with the following dire needs:
1) Legal advice
2) Advice on becoming a nonprofit
3) Help in constructing a website
4) Help in advertising online, at events and anywhere else it might be appropriate (headshops, etc.)
5) Help in manufacturing and shipping test kits
6) Help at events
7) Financial advice, accounting and contributions.
My partner in this operation is heading back home to his family, leaving only myself to continue the crusade. I feel that I am driven enough and more than capable of continuing this, but I must try and appeal to others in order to expand the efforts of this entity I’ve created. Thank you so very much for your time and consideration.
Love and Light,
Submitted by admin on Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:27.
The TRIP!Wire is a new service provided by TRIP! that allows community members to directly text questions around drug use sexual health and harm reduction. You can text the TRIP!Wire atQuestions submitted to the TRIP!Wire will be reviewed by TRIP! outreach workers. a short answer will be texted back to you. The questions will later be used to generate blog posts providing a more indepth answer.