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Protecting Young People (Who Use Drugs)

by Lisa Campbell 

Protecting Young People (Who Use Drugs)


Canada at #CND2014: Statement has not one word on human rights, death penalty for drug offences, harm reduction, #HIV #HCV#missingtheboat


On the final day of the CND High Level Segment, right before the Canadian Delegation presented their statement, I received a message informing me that my friend Junior had died of a drug overdose. Choking back tears, I had to force myself to focus on the task at hand in the name of advocating for sensible drug policy. In honour of Junior, I would like to dedicate this post to him, as I continue to believe that we must push for life saving services for young people who use drugs.  During the CND, we have strived to be diplomatic in our calls for drug policy reform.  Achieving this diplomacy is difficult when the lives of young people who use drugs are at continued risk because of ineffective drug policies.  Unfortunately, the Canadian Delegation neglected to mention human rights, the death penalty for drug offences, harm reduction or reducing blood borne infections in their statement.

That being said, Canada did mention that a multistakeholder approach is essential, including engaging civil society in ongoing dialogue leading up to UNGASS 2016.  Today, the Canadian NGO Delegation had the opportunity to meet with the Canadian Delegation to discuss some of our concerns at the CND.  In preparation for the event, both the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition created a briefing document titled, ”Promoting Smart Policy on Drugs: Brief to the Canadian delegation to the UN,” which was sent to the Canadian Delegation in advance of the meeting.  Although we were unable to address all of the points in the briefing during the meeting, many of questions we were able to ask were not responded to by the Canadian Delegation as a result of  the Harper Government’s  National Anti-Drug Strategy, which limits government officials from acknowledging harm reduction as an evidence-based strategy for improving public health outcomes.

It is strange to see this phenomenon in action, but it’s not the first time I’ve witnessed official government representatives shying away from the topic for fear of reprisal.  While we were able to discuss other issues, the lack of harm reduction funding for programs targeted at youth has a real tangible cost.  It may seem like we are being nit picky about rhetoric, but not acknowledging harm reduction in federal policy (let alone on an international scale) means that young people who use drugs are left without services due to age restrictions and abstinence-based programs.  Talking about young people and drug use only from the perspective of prevention and enforcement means that treatment and harm reduction are sidelined and do not receive sufficient funds to meet demand.  In this blog post, CSSDP will be going through the briefing document point by point to outline the concerns for young people who use drugs, and also to summarize the information discussed during our meeting with the Canadian Delegation.

1. Encourage all countries to adopt a comprehensive public health approach to substance use
While this was not on the forefront of our meeting, it is essential that young people who use drugs are not further criminalized for their use. Some of the students we work with have been caught up in the justice system, often facing jail time or probation when they should be focused on their education.  One of our most active students found out that his sentence is coming up (facing 5+ years potentially) right when he passed his LSAT.  With mandatory minimum sentences, young people are more at risk for increased sentences if caught  in an area where other underage youth are frequenting.  Just because a young person uses drugs does not mean that they are a criminal, and we therefore believe that drug use should be seen as a public health issue rather than a criminal one.

2. Supporting countries’ flexibility to experiment with alternative, health-oriented approaches to drug policy
Although many countries find ways to be flexible with the conventions in order to provide health services like needle exchange, harm reduction interventions for non-injection drug users are lacking.  While we still need services for young people who inject drugs, programs like drug checking have not been scaled up to be accessible to all young people globally. Drug testing kits for adulterants are often seen as “drug paraphernalia” and testing drugs for your friends or in a public health service can be seen as trafficking. While cannabis is being legalized in some states, rhetoric around “adult use” excludes young people, pushing them into the drug courts where sentencing can be just as punitive if they are suffering from addiction and are unable to maintain sobriety.

3. Respect, Protect and Promote Human Rights
Young people who use drugs have the right to access harm reduction services.  Oftentimes this provision of health services can be moralized by governments, as the main arguments for drug prohibition is to “protect” children and youth, which often results in their punishment as opposed to support. While we did not discuss the exclusion of human rights from the Canadian statement during the meeting, we did touch on the issue of the death penalty being excluded from the High Level Segment Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS).  Shortly after the approval of the JMS, several states came together to clarify that they were strongly opposed to the exclusion of condemning the death penalty from the JMS, but unfortunately Canada was not one of them.  The Canadian delegation was very frank in addressing our concerns, stating that they had no qualms with opposing the death penalty, but that the Minister of Foreign Affairs office did not have time to approve signing onto the EU led statement calling on the death penalty to be abolished for drug-related crimes.

3. Ensure Full Access to Essential Medicines
This was the one point on which the Canadian government was all ears and very open to technical expertise from the NGOs present in our meeting.  We were lucky to have Jason Nickerson from the Bruyère Research Institute present to speak to the Draft Resolution put forward by Thailand on Ketamine. As the predominant anaesthetic in many developing countries, Jason was concerned that Ketamine has gone “out of favour” in the international stage due to its increasing abuse in developed countries. The concern is that as drugs become scheduled and controlled in low-income countries, they become inaccessible. Canada should take a leading role in creating inclusion around access to essential medicines.

While it is important that we protect global access to Ketamine as an anaesthetic, it is also worth noting that this drug has a growing recreational use amongst youth in North America, Europe and Asia.  Due to a rise in awareness by bodies such as the UNODC, there has been a reduction in supply, forcing the prices of this cheap generic medicine to skyrocket and increasing adulterants, including New Psychoactive Substances such as Methoxetamine, which can have a higher potential for overdose.  In the Canadian context, as prices increase, young people who use drugs sometimes resort to changing their route of administration to injection, increasing their risk of blood-borne infections.  We need to stress to member states that supply reduction does not necessarily lead to better health outcomes for marginalized youth, and that we need proper addiction services for synthetic drugs like Ketamine.

4. Promote the full engagement of civil society in drug policy discussion

According to Robert Ianiro, “involvement of civil society is critical.” The Canadian delegation stressed that it was Canada that had helped to draft the initial language of the Resolution on the inclusion of civil society. Rita Notarandrea, Deputy CEO of the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse (CCSA), is the  civil society representative on the Canadian delegation, and is a co-lead on many of the resolutions.  CCSA has a long history of youth engagement in creating federally funded youth prevention programs, yet the youth that they chose to engage are not necessarily young people who use drugs or marginalized youth.  In our meeting, we stressed that the inclusion of key affected populations is essential when discussing drug policy reform, such as young people who use drugs and street involved youth.  While scientific data is important, young people who use drugs have on the ground knowledge of trends, including the effects of drug policy.  Through the meeting, we learned that the CCSA sent out a questionnaire and presented summarized feedback from NGOs, but many of the NGOs present at our meeting did not receive it.  We need civil society engagement beyond online surveys, and one that reaches out to populations affected by drug policy and meaningfully engages them in a consultation process leading up to UNGASS 2016.

5. Concerns about the language of a “drug-free world”
Statements around aiming for a “drug-free world” are not based in reality, as it is increasingly recognized that the war on drugs is a catastrophic failure.  There is a great deal of evidence that indicates that rates of drug use are largely independent of drug control policies.  It is time for member states to redefine the measures of success for drug policies.  If the goal was shifted from eliminating all drugs to reducing drug related harms, we could focus on minimizing the negative impacts of drugs as opposed to criminalizing young people who use drugs.  This “drug-free world” rhetoric leads to policies like mandatory minimum sentences which disproportionally impact youth. Party drugs popular with young people, including Amphetamine-Type Substances, Ketamine and New Psychoactive Substances, are increasingly placed under Schedule 1.  Young people are curious about drugs, and we need to provide them with factual information on the harms so that they can make their own decisions and take control of their health.  If the focus is only on prevention, valuable harm reduction supplies are inaccessible.

6. Role of the World Health Organization
While Canada is officially opposed to the language of harm reduction, there is still a vague reference to these evidence-based public health interventions in the JMS. This arises by referring to the WHO, UNODC and UNAIDS Technical Guide, which states that such interventions have, “remarkably reduced the number of HIV infections, with some countries approaching the elimination of injecting drug use-related transmission of HIV.”  The NGOs present were interested in Canada’s specific concerns about the wording of harm reduction.  The Canadian Delegation enforced the government’s commitment to the NAS, and believed that prevention, treatment, control of production and enforcement are the tools they can use to curb harms.  That being said, they presented no issues to the technical guides, but were unable to address our questions as to why harm reduction itself was problematic.

On top of this important meeting with the Canadian Delegation, the CSSDP National Chair Nazlee guest blogged for the CND Blog hosted by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) for the first time today. She covered the Committee of the Whole in the morning (which covered resolutions E/CN.7/2014/L.2 andE/CN.7/2014/L.8), and a side event titled, “COPOLAD: Evidence-Based Tools and Resources Available for CELAC and EU Countries” in the afternoon. All of her posts are now available on the CND blog and have been linked for the convenience of our readers here. As is the tone of the CND Blog, Nazlee’s posts reported on exactly what was said in these sessions without adding personal reflection. 

Written by Lisa Campbell, we snagged this post from the blog

Youth Moving, a movement meditation!

On Tuesday March 18 Central Toronto Community Health Center will be running its first Youth Moving, a movement meditation program for youth, age 16-29.

Youth Movement March 18th, 2014 

Movement meditation is a great way for individuals to explore themselves and their emotions, tap into group connectedness, and promote a sense of well-being.

Youth Moving will be a 2 hour free form dance group, accompanied by a DJ where participants are asked not to speak so that they may come out of their thinking mind and become present with their bodies. Supports will be available if someone is having a hard time navigating the space, finding their dancing way, or are emotionally in need of it. This group is a safe and inclusive space for all. Our facilities are fully accessible. There will be snacks available before, during and after the dance to keep our motors going.

Doors open by 2:30, dance by 3, please come by 2:30 if you have any special needs to be addressed prior to the group.
CTCHC’s address is 168 Bathurst St, between Queen and Richmond. The Health Center’s number is (416) 703-8480.

For more information or to pre-register and ensure entrance, contact 

Facebook event:

Warning: Neurotoxic Chemical Being Sold In European / North American Party Pills

It goes without saying that all research chemicals / designer drugs / novel psychoactive substances must be treated with an abundance of caution, even more than would be applied to "traditional" psychoactives (ones with a longer and more studied history of use).  As such, we tend not to spend a lot of time singling out particular ones as more risky than others, unless they are being remarketed as substances which they are not, sold without accurate labeling, etc - the general rules still apply. 

Do your research, realize that you may discover problematic effects that other users have yet to report, start small if you are trying something out, and have a friend "sit" you in case you run into trouble!

Nonetheless, a warning come across our desk (booth?) recently via the bluelight forums, and it is an unusually serious one.

Although this warning was initially posted in the summer, the company in question is still distributing the exact brands and chemicals described, even offering free samples.  There is a fair chance that you, your friend or your local head shop could wind up with something from this list.  If you encounter a person or a business in possession of these, please pass along this warning!

Neurotoxic AM-HI-CO Diablo XXX Extreme 3, neurotoxic research chemical bath salts party pills

Text below has been quoted from the bluelight thread, and "AM-HI-CO" refers to a specific vendor while the rest of the given name is the specific pill branding. 

Highly questionable party pills, which according to the vendor/manufacturer contain para-chloroamphetamine / 1-(4-chlorophenyl)propan-2-amine. All products of this producer marked with a 3 contain the proven neurotoxin. These are, in alphabetical order:


Vendors stocking it are listing this item stating it contains "4-chloroamphetamine ; 1-(4-chlorophenyl)propan-2-amine"

This substance, 4-CA (or PCA, para-Chloroamphetamine) , is a highly neurotoxic substance that selectively destroys serotonin receptors and is in fact used in animal testing as a toxin to give lab animals permanent serotonergic brain damage needed for certain experiments.

This is not a novel drug that might be bad, its a very well known substance that is highly neurotoxic among a wide range of mammals, and is in fact used as a neurotoxin in animal testing for many decades. 


Physical Side Effects of Kronic Ketamine Use

Ketamine (also known as K or Special K) has been known to be habit-forming. Some people establish routines of repeated use and find them difficult to break. Regular users may experience distress and extreme cravings when trying to quit. Furthermore, tolerance can build up pretty quickly with frequent use. The following symptoms typically occur when people binge on ketamine or use it frequently. These symptoms are less common for those who do not use ketamine on a regular basis (approximately 2-3 times a week).


K Pains

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 often extremely agonizing. Although taking more ketamine may temporarily take away the pain, it will likely only worsen the condition in the end. Depending on the severity of the inflammation, the pain can last a few minutes or up to a few days.
If you are experiencing pains:

  • Avoid taking more  ketamine (even though it may temporarily reduce pain), or try to cut down on your use.

  • Take a warm bath (when you are sober), or place a warm cloth or hot water bottle over the painful region.

  • Try to eat some vegetables or rice (they can really help).  

  • Avoid fatty foods because one of the main functions of the gallbladder is to digest fat.

  • If they are severe and do not lessen, contact your doctor, call 911, or head to the nearest hospital.

Many users have also reported a significant decrease in side-effects by not swallowing their nasal drips after railing, which can be irritating and hard to process through the stomach and digestive system. Similarly, avoiding spicy, acidic, carbonated and otherwise 'difficult' foods can prevent discomfort. Your digestive system uses muscle contractions to move food along, and ketamine slows this process, so any irritating foods will linger for longer. This is often misunderstood to be true gallbladder-related "k-pains", because of the anaesthetic and disassociative effects of ketamine making it difficult for you to properly feel and understand the sensations of indigestion.

It does appear that the bile duct returns to normal after cessation of ketamine use, although the long term effects on the gall bladder, bile ducts, and liver are still unknown.

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 (the hole you pee through). If the bladder becomes irritated and the user continues to take ketamine, severe and irreversible damage may occur and users may become incontinent, or unable to control their bladder. Ketamine can also injure the bladder, causing ulcers (wounds) and fibrosis (stiffening of the bladder walls and shrinkage). Ulcers may scar the bladder, making it unable to expand. This bladder shrinkage results in having to urinate more often and sometimes pain in the bladder area.  Although the bladder can heal to an extent, 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.

The symptoms of ketamine bladder irritation/damage are:

  • Burns while taking a piss

  • Pain in genitals

  • Pain in bladder

  • Sometimes unable to urinate or takes a while to start (if you are unable to pee for several hours, go to the hospital!)

  • Blood in urine (note that this might not be obvious)

  • Unable to hold piss for long periods

  • Leaking piss

  • Mucous in piss from bladder

Sometimes people or doctors will confuse these symptoms with those of a urinary tract infection or UTI. Ketamine bladder damage and UTIs are not the same thing and should be treated differently, although they may appear at the same time.

If you are experiencing genital or bladder pains:

  • Try to not take more ketamine, or cut down on your use.

  • A warm bath (sober) may help ease genital pains.

  • Refrain from ingesting acidic, sugar-heavy, or caffeinated beverages, which may worsen the pain.

  • If you are have been experiencing symptoms for a while after you stop using, or you are experiencing a great deal of pain, you should see your doctor, call 911, or visit the emergency room. Tell them you suspect you injured your bladder from ketamine use, and they may refer you to a urologist. If your doctor or urologist needs more information about ketamine cystitis (or ketamine bladder syndrome), you can refer them to the case studies referenced here, or tell them to go to



Moderation is important with Special K! If you do a lot of ketamine in a single sitting, or you use constantly for days, you are are more prone to damage. If you’re going to use K,  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 and aids in maintaining good health! 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, though beverages with little sugar are preferable). 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, which may also cause irritation. If you’re sufficiently hydrated, this may aid in drug metabolism and flushing toxins from the body. If you do end up with the symptoms listed above, keep drinking water, and cutting out K would be a good idea as well (or you can risk serious life-changing damage to your body).

Cranberry juice and/or cranberry extract supplements can help minimise the chances of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) that are common in ketamine users. However, although cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs, it has no therapeutic effect if taken after bladder irritation has occurred, and it may even trigger more pain and irritation as it is naturally very acidic.

Avoiding other foods and beverages that may irritate your bladder such as artificial sugars, chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, and fruit juices may be beneficial as well.


It is also very important to try to refrain from mixing ketamine with other drugs (like alcohol for instance), as this can add to the strain on your body.


Further Treatment

Ketamine can increase the general acidity levels in your body, and most of us already eat a diet that is off-balance towards acidity. Here is a list of foods that will help balance your pH levels (it's not always intuitive - lemons are acidic at first but don't act as an acidic food once they've been digested!).

Ketamine damages the bladder in a similar way to another condition called  interstitial cystitis.  Following the guidelines for treatment and self-help for this condition may help to varying degrees with ketamine bladder syndrome.  You can find info and links here:

You can see a urologist 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. You may experience loss of sexual function as well. If you suffer kidney damage, you may need dialysis (which involves getting your blood filtered by a machine).
For more information, check out these resources:

Ketamine Bladder Syndrome:

One man’s personal story of K use:

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 use Hong Kong

For more information on ketamine generally, check out our other TRIP resources:

International Drug Overdose Awareness Day - August 31

On International Drug Overdose Awareness Day this year, two people died at Electric Zoo, an EDM festival in New York. Our thoughts are with friends and family of these victims of the drug war and we are talking with local festival organizers about what we as an organization and as a community can do in our ongoing effort to keep partiers and drug users as safe possible.





In 2011 between 102,000 and 247,000 people died from drug overdoses around the world. On August 31 take part in International Drug Overdose Awareness day and help prevent and reduce the stigma around drug related deaths.

Take Part:

- Wear silver on August 31st to show your support or pay tribute to someone you’ve lost.

Take Action & Work Towards Prevention:

Know Your Source & Start Small

Try to obtain drugs of any kind from trusted and known sources. Start with a lower dose to test that you got what you paid for. You can never be 100% sure what is in a substance. You can also contact us about purchasing an adulterant screening kit.

Try not to mix drug use with alcohol consumption or other drugs (we know, it’s tough).

Do some research on the drug before doing it. Check out the TRIP website and Erowid to find out about different drugs.

Try something new with a friend who is experienced with that substance. They can help you understand if what you are feeling is “normal.”

Read all the information that comes with your prescription medication. If you experience adverse side effects speak with your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Speak with you doctor about the risks involved with mixing any prescription drugs with illegal drugs or alcohol. If you are uncomfortable speaking with someone directly you can email , tweet or text the TRIPwire (647) 822-6435 us with questions or check out ‘Here To Help’ for more information on dangerous drug combinations.

Know The Signs & Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of an overdose are different depending on the substance. The following sites give a good overview:

Overdose Day: Overdose Basics

Trip Project: OD Prevention 101

Know Your Rights:

Depending on where you are located you may be protected from criminal prosecution if you seek emergency help for a drug overdose. These laws are known as Good Samaritan Laws. This law was famously used in New York State when Jon Bon Jovi’s daughter was rescued after suffering a Heroine overdose.

If this type of law is not in effect where you live (like in Canada for example) you can still seek help and protect yourself from legal woes:  


- If you're at an event, send someone to find the EMS workers onsite and send someone else to call 911. Stay with the person until help arrives, doing any first aid or CPR required that you've been trainined to do.


- When you call 911 you do not have to mention that the emergency is drug related. Instead you can say the victim has just stopped breathing or suffered a heart attack. Give as much information as you can about their symptoms like an estimated time of the attack or how long they’ve been passed out for.

- Put away any drug paraphernalia that you have on your bodies or out in the area.

- If the overdose victim is functioning well enough, take them outside (or even to the hallway outside of the house/apartment/venue) and wait with them for help. First responders do not need to enter a house and you are not required to let police in without a warrant.


Seek Harm Reduction Training:

You can learn to administer Naloxone, which helps to counteract an opiate/opioid overdose at The Works anytime they’re open or at The Central Toronto Community Health Centre on every 3rd monday of the month, 1-3pm. The training only takes 20 minutes and it could help you save a life.

CPR training is offered by St. John’s Ambulance.

Email TRIP to apply for the next volunteer training session this fall (beginning October 2!)

The Essential Point:

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 and stay with the person. Every second counts! When the Emergency Medical Staff arrive, you can tell them the specific substances taken so they can more effectively treat treat the person. Worst case scenario, legal issues are still better than death.


Recently I spent some time in a men’s detox centre. This was my experience...

Before arriving at the detox, I spent several hours in the crisis unit of my local hospital. When I arrived in the crisis unit, they took some blood and asked me several questions about why I was there. I told them “I want to get sober”. This was not a fun experience, as there were several drunk and mentally ill people yelling and being generally disruptive all night long. I waited there for almost 5 hours before my blood work was processed and the doctor on staff came to assess if I was fit to go to a detox center. He literally just looked at me and said “i think you're okay to go.”

Unfortunately they seem to have very little respect for drug users in hospitals. I don’t recommend going to the crisis unit unless you truly are in a state of crisis. If you are in crisis, go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital. Hospitals are never a nice place to be, but at least you’ll get the help you need.

I arrived at St. Mikes detox center at about 1am. It was located on the 3rd floor of a salvation army building in a sketchy downtown Toronto neighborhood. There was a shelter, and a drop in center in the building as well. The place was dingy, and there were patches of plaster all over the walls. The bathroom smelled of urine, because people would rarely flush the urinals. At the back of the washroom were three shower stalls and a small laundry room.



A day in the detox went like this...

Breakfast was from 6am to 8 am. We would wake up, get our own breakfast which would consist of mini cereal boxes, toast, fruit and coffee. We were allowed to watch TV until the morning meeting.

At 8am we would all meet to talk about our plans for the day, and to talk about any issues or announcements the staff had to make. Some of the issues that came up in these meetings were people spitting in the kitchen sink or people leaving dirty dishes in the sink. You really didn’t have to wash your dishes, because there was a sanitizer in the kitchen. All we were really expected to do is rinse them. For some reason a bunch of grown men were unable to do even this.

After morning meeting we would have another hour to watch TV until Group at 9:00. In group, we would all talk about our recovery plans and goals for an hour. We would then be given a few more hours to watch TV until lunch was served. (people watched A LOT of TV in there)

At 12:00 lunch would be served. It would consist of ham, turkey, tuna or egg salad sandwiches on white bread, canned soup (the kind Andy Warhol made a print of), crackers and milk or juice.

After lunch, we would go about our days. Some people would go off to appointments or to the recreation center across the street. Most people would just stay in the detox and watch the telly or read.

As a queer person, my time there was stressful. Many of the men in there were incredibly chauvinistic and closed-minded. They were constantly making sexist, racist and homophobic comments. The words “bitches” and “broads” were used multiple times every day.

I’m “off the wagon” again, but I don’t feel that my time there was wasted.  While there I connected with CAMH Rainbow Services. I had to wait about 2 weeks for an assessment with CAMH addictions services; however I was able to start the first stage of the program several days after the assessment. I’ve been attending weekly meetings with other queer folks where we discuss our goals, struggles and strategies plans for recovery. After a couple more group sessions, I’ll be connected with a personal therapist to start discussing options like medication and an inpatient recovery program.

Reaching out for help is not easy, but when you’re ready it’s available.

For admission to a detox or withdrawal management program in Toronto, you can call central access toll free at 1-866-366-9513. If there are no beds available, try calling again in an hour.

If you would like to seek treatment for addiction or another mental health concern, these numbers may be helpful:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

416-535-8501 ext. 6885

Distress Centres of Toronto

416-408-HELP (4357)

Gerstein Crisis Centre


Kids Help Phone

Toll Free 1-800-668-6868

by A TRIP volunteer

A psychedelic minute...

Check out this poem by someone in our community: 

A psychedelic minute...

reverberates in my ears.. 
Like the fabled White Rabbit, 
a slave to my watch,
a devise to measure a man made idea. 
In one minute I,
the purveyor of the psychedelic rabbit hole, 
in true shamanistic style, 
will blast off 
by way of L.S.D.
Ever on the quest 
of who's more "gangster" 
(wifey having done 10 hits the previous night) 
this "Red eyed rider of the astral planes" 
knows knows
that I fucked up.
"20 hits,
Might've been too much." 
Thinks I... 
Totally unprepared for the journey
upon which I am about to embark.. 

"TICK TICK TICK!!!", obnoxiously the clock screams.. 
Ten minutes prior to me dosing... 
As I look to the wall clock, 
of which, 
I am now enslaved 
-for I am a time watcher-
I come to a gross realization 
that this 
-strong enough mind for mind expansion-
stoner son of a hippie, 
might've taken too much... 
Palms sweat, 
to make damp, 
that which is normally dry.. 
Ears ringing, 
My stomach developed the, 
wrenching of anxiety induced, 
"OH SHIT!!!"
"Surely the clock isn't melting already"
I think 
through confused fog.. 
Ten minutes after dosing, 
the overwhelming .
"I fucked up" washes over me... 

"TICK TICK TICK!!!" the clock's metronome annoyance... 
focused tunnel vision. 
Glued to the 
(drug induced, 'not-so-normal') 
shackles of clock.. 
(for surely we are all slaves of time) 
Hour hand, 
minute hand, 
and second hand.. 
Swirled and melted, 
a mending with kaleidoscopic graphics, 
in intense visual orgasm, 
barely able to make out 
that it is midnight.. 
on the dot.. 

The timepiece's song sings.. 
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!!" my mind screams.. 
As the second hand revolves 
around the rim 
of this now melting...
This "White Rabbit" incarnate 
peers on... 
in a curious 
Riddled with 
an ever increasing, 
candid apprehension as, 
the psychedelics 
run her course...
the second hand 
(now longer, 
than the clock is wide) 
traverses the rough terrain 
of perpetual travel 
and lands on the half way point, 
the VI... 
The depictions illustrated 
by the L.S.D. 
paint a picture in which, 
the melting clock is the focal point..

"Seconds of my life melted away, in wonton fashion", 
I think as I'm overcome.. 
As a story 
of epic proportions manifests, 
behind this 
melting metronome, 
my eyes remain glued, 
as though skin 
to our circulatory system.. 
The second hand swirling, 
With colors... 
And liquid emotion, 
as behind it, 
A picture appears deep, 
within it's wake.. 
Hovered precariously 
atop the IX... 
thoughts race.. 
"That's definitely not natural." 
"This isn't right." 
"Something is wrong." 
scroll across the wall 
like the earnings across wall street. 
"In nasdaq today, gold futures are up, and YOU'RE FUCKED UP!!!" 

As the seconds melt away, 
in an absolutely, 
literal manner, 
the clock blends, 
fluidly into the 
Psychedelic Oddyssey 
portrayed upon the wall and.. 
I'm overcome by insanity.. 

"What's happening to me?" 
Fear induced thought fragments, 
Right as the sweep hand of this 
"timepiece instrument of bondage" 
renders it's first 
full revolution since gazing, 
transfixed on it, 
This White Rabbit 
receives to his ass, 
with the force of a freight train, 
A boot.. 
(the boot worn by the secrets of the universe) 
which launched this hare, 
down the rabbit hole 
of equilibrium,
into my life altering
astral projection... 
The very last thing this 
Connoisseur of Questions Un-known, 
before receiving ego death, 
(the instrument of my reform) 
is the second hand, 
devoid of motion 
above the XII... 
Time stops... 
I was flung into the void.. 
Starting my first... 
and last astral projection... 
ever incurred..

- Intricate B

Be sure to like my page...


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N-Bombs / Smiles

25-I-NBOMe blotter 

A new pair of phenethylamine research chems have been making waves lately since their appearance in 2010 through research chemical distributors. Known casually as "N-Bombs" or "Smiles" and technically as 25-I-NBOMe / 25-C-NBOMe (or 2C-I-NBOMe / 2C-C-NBOMe respectively), these 2C-I and 2C-C relatives are potent psychedelics which are active in the microgram dose range (under 1mg). This dose range is more traditionally considered "the realm of LSD" as far as hallucinogens and psychedelics go, and with a timeline and effects set that is considered comparable in ways to LSD it's no surprise that certain areas and communities have encountered dealers presenting these unpronounceable new chemicals simply as "new acid", "synthetic mescaline", as well as the somewhat more clear "Smiles." 

The photo above shows blotter paper carrying 25-I-NBOMe, ordered in this form over the internet and obviously in a form that could be confused with LSD blotter. (Of course, DOI/DOB have also been sold on blotter as fake acid for some time now.)

Here's some background information: 25-I is generally described as more visual than 25-C and sometimes more difficult to handle, psychologically and physically. These drugs are active at less than half a miligram and often overwhelming at 1mg+. (dose especially strong intranasally, which is the route of administration that has been most linked to hospitalizations and lethal overdoses). Somewhat bitter. Definitely psychedelic in effects, can pass as acid to the inexperienced.

Fairly easy to obtain and quite cheap. Presents serious risk due to improper dosing (some users report that the same dose on the same person can have widely varying degrees of effects at different times), availability has caused many people to attempt laying blotter who probably shouldn't and miscalculate the dosage of each.

Although a fair number of people have had safe and enjoyable experiences with these chemicals, hospitalizations and deaths have been reported .  It is definitely possible to have a lethal overdose situation, at least in the case of 25-I-NBOMe, and at present there is no information available as to what the LD50 "standard toxic dosage" is for a human being.

Timeline of effects is fairly close to that of LSD, a definite advantage over the DO* series.

These psychedelic stimulants are classified as phenethylamines, and not amphetamines, therefore not subject to the Canadian Controlled Drugs & Substances Acts clause regarding analogues of amphetamine. 25-I-NBOMe is more popular and widespread than 25-C-NBOMe, hence the perceived greater danger may simply be due to more cases of the first having been tried out at all.

These chemicals are not particularly active orally and have mainly been consumed sublingually (under the tongue or against the gums), which is also the reason people have attempted intranasal ingestion which is seemingly unusual for what they may have been sold as an "LSD-like" drug. When complexed with the sugar HPbCD (hydroxy propyl beta cyclodextrin), N-Bombs can gain some oral bioavailability and greater sublingual bioavailability. (How much more is the subject of debate).

More images of 25-I-NBOMe and 2C-I-NBOMe as powder, blotter, and in other forms are available on Erowid, with new ones appearing regularly. (The drugs have also been distributed diluted into liquid.) As with any research chems, tread especially carefully if you encounter or suspect you have encountered these drugs and are considering consuming them. As previously stated, the effects can be unpredictable even when a user consumes the same amount of the same batch that they previously had, and the only real research having been done on these drugs has been "in-the-wild" user reports.

If you have any information pertaining to these drugs, especially related to Canada, feel free to contact us via or or :)

Synthetic Cannabinoid FAQ: So Do I Smoke It?

"Spice" containing JWH-018 


By Eric Oulster


The news has exploded recently about stuff being sold that is supposedly similar to pot. For the sake of this FAQ, we’ll refer to them as ‘Synthetic Smokables’. There is little research on these substances, even by professional drug researchers and lawmakers. As a result, it can be kind of hard to find information about these drugs right now. Whether you want to try them or stay clear, that’s your own decision, but maybe we can help answer some questions you might have about them.

So what is this stuff?
Well, at its most basic, these are smokable substances sold in convenience stores and head-shops. Sometimes they are called ‘spices’, but are sold under many other names, too. They are often marketed as being something unlike a drug, such as an “incense” or “potpourri”. Despite these names, they are still sold to smoke. Synthetic Smokables often come in a professional looking package, made of plastic and with a brand name. They usually range in prices from 5-15 dollars, and some places give out samples.

Is it a chem or a herb?

Most of these drugs are chemicals that are manufactured in a laboratory setting (most likely in Asia), then shipped to Canada and the U.S. Sometimes after this, the chemicals are mixed into a material that looks like dried plant matter so that it is easier to smoke and looks more ‘earthy’. Sometimes they are sold as oils. Other times, they are sold in a powdery form. Regardless, these drugs are manufactured chemicals.

How would I do these?
So far, the two routes of administration discussed regarding these drugs are in a smokable form, and on rare occasion, in an oral form.  It is advisable to consult your source on if it is a smokable or oral version, because smoking the oral form could cause an overdose and doing an oral dose of the smoking form might not affect you.

What’s in these drugs?
There are a variety of different drugs that go into these smokables, most of them being sold fall under the category of Naphthoylindoles.

What the flying f*** is a Naphtho-whatever?
You may know some of these chemicals as being under the ‘JWH’ family. Jwh-018 and Jwh-073 are in this family. Beyond that, we don’t really have a ‘street name’ for them yet. In terms of brain chemicals, they focus on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are also used by cannabis. This may explain why many people say the drugs feel similar to pot.

So are they legal?
Yes and no...These drugs fall into a legal grey area. You are allowed to sell the substance for research purposes if you have the proper paperwork. For human consumption, things start to get a little sketchy.
The wholesale suppliers are likely getting them 100% legally, while the people who are selling them as smokable products are probably working on loopholes. However, any substance that is supposedly “like cannabis” is supposed to be illegal for sale.
As for personal possession, we can’t say for certain if any charges could be laid - but it is important to note that most of these are still above the counter substances - even if they are only quasi-legal.

Are they going to be illegal?
There seems to be a game of cat and mouse going on between lawmakers and chemists with these substances. Once lawmakers ban a specific set of substances, chemists synthesize a similar set of chemicals that aren’t illegal and start selling them in these synthetic smokables. Chemists usually know more about chemistry than lawmakers, so as a result the chemicals in these drugs shift slightly and the product as a whole stays legal.
Another sneaky tactic some synthetic smokable dealers do is to not disclose their active ingredients on the package. It becomes really hard for lawmakers to ban a chemical or to enforce its ban when they don’t even know what it is.

Aren’t they legally obliged to say what is in their drugs?
Since a lot of these products state on the packaging “Not for human consumption”, they get away with it. Unfortunately for the user, this often means you can’t be entirely sure what is in them.

What about in the US?
The United States also seems to be playing a game of cat and mouse with chemists, but the lawmakers over there seem to be a couple steps ahead of the ones in Canada. The best advice we can give is to not bring synthetic smokables over the border! For those wishing to use in America, there are likely to be some available in the States, but they are also likely to be different from the ones available here in Canada. The same goes vice-versa: don’t bring American Synthetic Smokables into Canada.

So are these Synthetic Smokables bad for you?
There is still a lot of research going into these substances, so we can’t say for certain how neurotoxic they are. There has been one overdose resulting in death confirmed on JWH-018, and there have been reports of non-fatal overdoses occurring on Synthetic Smokables confirmed as well.

It’s important to note that this ISN’T pot though. Since these chemicals haven’t been as thoroughly researched we don’t know what kind of brain or organ damage could possibly result from regular use. We strongly recommend not trying the “smoke err’y day” route that many pot smokers choose to do with Synthetic Smokables. Play it safe and don’t go too hard.
Multiple trip reports have stated that regular use results in a decreased appetite, with multiple daily uses resulting in eating as little as one or no meals a day. If you intend to or are using this frequently, make sure you are eating well!

We also don’t have too much knowledge on the addictive potential of these drugs. Just like all other drugs, however, it is important to be aware of how much, and how often, you are using.

Can I take this stuff with any other drugs?
We have very little knowledge of mixing Synthetic Smokables with other substances. At the moment, our advice is to remember that this isn’t pot and even though it works on similar receptors in the brain, mixing it with other drugs can result in drastically different, and potentially dangerous, effects when compared to mixing pot with other drugs.
Stay Safe! Though we highly recommend not mixing Synthetic Smokables, we will suggest that if you do to at least use low dosages of both substances in order to avoid more dangerous situations that can result from a bad drug combination.

I have a question related to Synthetic Smokables that isn’t covered on this FAQ.
You can always contact the Trip!wire at (647) 822-6435 for individual questions. You can also approach your friendly neighbourhood Trip! members at our next outreach event, or reach us through Facebook at

I have information about Synthetic Smokables that I feel is important to share with you.
We’d love any additional information you have on this topic!
E-mail us at

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