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That white stuff, that yellow stuff, that pinkish stuff, that brown stuff, that really rocky stuff, that orange thing my friend told me to stay away from, that orange thing my other other friend  told me was amazing. How do you make sense of it all when appearances, when it comes to drugs, more often than not can be quite deceiving? You may or may not have noticed that as of late there has been an increase in the preference of MDMA over ecstasy as a party drug in our scene. There is no one single explanation for this and any one that I would dare offer would be based out of on my own opinion. However, what I can say is that there are frequent shifts in certain drug use often happen and with these shifts come new concerns.

One concern surrounding MDMA, particularly in Toronto, has been with about the effects of what some have described as "brown MDMA" that looks oily and waxy as opposed to crushed up and crystaline or powdery. When purchased, the substance appears to be a small sticky lumps inside of a capsule. This is still MDMA, it however has not been processed as many times as to achieve that fine crushed appearance. This often means that there is less likely a chance of it being cut with other substances, however this may cause the drug to be extremely potent. According to some people, this brown substance hits harder than the "white MDMA" causing people to get too high, too fast and in some cases, unexpectedly. The come up has also been said to cause heavy nausea because of it's intensity which can may result in some needing to vomit or in more extreme cases losing the ability to function properly (i.e., beginning to convulse on the ground). Coupled with being at certain events like outdoor parties where it is hard to find somewhere to be comfortable and potentially harder to seek help, this has worried a number of individuals.

Because of its physical state it also becomes more difficult to ingest in smaller amounts, as  snorting this is not really an option. People often and up taking the whole capsule, which for some can may be way too strong. A method for taking it in doses can be to empty the capsule and mix it in with a bottle of water, or an anti-oxidant such as cranberry juice or a drink with electrolytes such as Poweraid, and then continuously taking swigs throughout the evening. This controls one’s intake of the substance. It may not taste the best but it can may make or break your night. When taking a substance, always start with a low dose to see how your body will react to it before you decide to take more. Never take more than what you would usually take when trying a new batch or drug.

So what can you do if you or a friend find yourselves too high and uncomfortable with where you're at physically and mentally?

The first thing you should try to do is relax. Take a few sips of water (or juice) and find somewhere comfortable to sit. If you're at an outdoor event try to take a look at your surroundings and make  sure that there are no immediate dangers. If so there are, try to move away from them! Try to stick with your friends so that someone is there to take care of you if you need help. If you or your friends begin to experience difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness, seek help immediately. People with high blood pressure or on MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) are not recommended to use MDMA.


(TRIP neither condemns nor condones the use of drugs)


TRIP! is conducting this survey to inform the work of the Toronto Safer Nightlife Committee, which was created to prevent alcohol-related violence and other harms in the Toronto bar/club scene. TRIP! provides safer sex and safer drug use information and supplies to party people in Toronto's diverse electronic music communities. We want to hear from youth (aged 19 -29) about their views on safety issues in the club/bar scene.  Click the image above to take the survey today!

15 Years of Toronto Party Culture

The TRIP! Project was born in 1995 out of a need for appropriate drug and sex information within the Toronto rave scene. The act of partying often meant using drugs, and for some, being promiscuous. These activities, on their own as well as together, had the potential to put people at risk for drug dependencies, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and more. That's where TRIP came in. A recruitment process began with a community picnic, organized by Kim Stanford, at the time an HIV Educator working for Toronto Public Health. From there came the volunteers from within the community, who contributed their time, energy and creativity into making TRIP! a unique and innovative drug and sex education project.

Years later the project is still alive and kicking!  Help us celebrate our 15th Anniversary by contributing to a grassroots community photobook documenting Toronto party culture.  This crowd sourced photobook will be a community historical document in order to celebrate 15 years of party culture.  Photos of the TRIP! booth are encouraged, but all photos are welcome.  From old school parties at the Better Living Centre to Om Festival, we want to see your photos of Toronto's party scene throught the ages. Send us your photos in the bottom of your shoe box, your scanned rave fliers, pictures from Connected, Destiny, Hullabaloo, Empire, Liquid Adrenalin, Citrus, New Mind Space, Goodfellaz and much more. We want to represent from the old school to the new school, so any photos are good photos. 

Be sure to include information on who took the photo, where it was and the year to help us make our community time capsule

Send us your photos today by emailing !

Mephedrone? Never heard of it.

MephedroneNo need to feel too out of the loop, mephedrone has only very recently been showing up in our scene and has been commonly referred to as Max Volume in Toronto. Other names for it have included meow meow, stardust, max volume, MCAT, bubbles or just plain plant food.  Mephedrone has been a popular drug in the UK for quite some time now and was rated the fourth 4th more popular club drug, lagging behind coke, ecstasy and cannabis.

 Mephedrone has risen sharply in popularity in the UK because of its low price and availability. The drug was not known to police until approximately three ago, when mephedrone was reportedly linked to the death of two teenagers in several newspapers. It's important to keep in mind that it was later found that these deaths were not directly linked to use of the drug. 


So what is it anyway?


Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a stimulant which is closely chemically related to amphetamines. Users have reported that mephedrone produces a similar effect to drugs like amphetamines such as ecstasy and cocaine. Mephedrone is a white, off-white or yellowish powder which is usually snorted, but can also be ingested orally. This means that mephedrone may also be showing up in pressed pills as well as in packed capsules.


Mephedrone can also be used as plant fertilizer and was up until recently widely legally sold online under that purpose. Many websites that used to sell it such as and are now closed due to upcoming changes in the law which is making mephedrone nearly impossible today to purchase online. Follow MephedroneMan on Twitter for current updates on the the issues surrounding mephedrone.



 What exactly does it do?


Because mephedrone is still an emerging substance, there isn't a whole load of literature and research that has been done on it up to date. Even less so on its long term effects. There are, however, a significant amount of user reports. If you have used mephedrone and would like to share your experiences, you can send them here. Other interesting anecdotal information by users can be found here

The onset is generally from 10-20 minutes after consumption and has a duration of 2 to 3 hours, depending on the quality of the drug as well as the user.  The comedown is said to last an hour but some users have reported not be able to sleep for some time as well as an uncomfortable heart rate hours after consuming the drug.



Similarly to other stimulants, mephedrone has an impact on the heart and some users report heart palpitations and irregular or racing heartbeat which may last for quite some time after taking the drug. Other reported effects have been blurred vision, hot flashes, muscle tension as well as nausea and vomiting. As well as suppressing appetite, some people have reported that their fingers turned blue after taking the drug which may potentially be linked to bad blood circulation. If this happening to you or a friend, discontinue use and seek help immediately. 

Those who run the greatest risk of potential harm due to the bad blood circulation are those with high blood pressure. As well, using during pregnancy may harm the fetus by restricting blood flow thus resulting in low birth weight and poor development. 



 What should I watch out for?


Like any other drug, you should be careful with what other substances you mix mephedrone with. Another concern is that people have reported compulsively (meaning over and over and over again) taking the drug during a session. Some users have reported only intending to do a bit of mephedrone but unwillingly finishing their entire supply. This can lead to insomnia and heavy use in the long run can lead to psychological dependency, just like any amphetamine! It is recommended that your space out your highs and start off with a low dose.



Legal things you should know:


Mephedrone's legality in Canada is a murky area at the moment and much of the information available about its legal status contradicts itself. To be safe, you should treat mephedrone as an illegal substance when it comes to possession. 


Remember- new drugs always have a lot of hype around them. Before you make any decisions, be sure you know your sources!

Levamisole Cocaine Warning!

 A Dangerous Substance (Levamisole) is showing up with increasing
frequency in cocaine powder and crack cocaine! Levamisole is used to
treat worm infections in animals and it can severely reduce your number
of white blood cells.

There is no way of telling if your coke or crack is bad, it will
smell, taste and look the same!

If you use coke watch out for:

  High fever or chills

• Skin abscesses, unexplainable
bruising particularly on hands, feet or ears

• Painful anal or oral sores

• Lung infection that appears to be
developing more rapidly than usual

Seek Medical Attention Immediately!



Levamicoke. Anything but the real thing.

For more info:

Erowid Cocaine Vaults : Cocaine Adulterated with Levamisole on the Rise

Want to start your own project?

Boyz n HIV

Throughout the year we keep on getting messages from people across Canada telling us that they wish they had the TRIP! Project in their community.  While we usually send out small care packages to communities outside of Toronto, there are a few TRIP! resources which are available for free across Canada, including shipping!  The CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange) Ordering Centre is a national resource for free HIV/AIDS and Hep C resources. CATIE will ship you any information you want right to your door step or community centre! It's now easier than ever to start your own harm reduction project, as it doesn't matter if you're a grassroots youth collective in Nunavut or an established social services agency-- it's all free!

For a few years CATIE has been including our Safer Snorting resource both in French and English .  This month they've added two TRIP! resources to their roster, including both our Boyz on Boyz and Grrlz on Grrlz Sexual Health Postcards! We are so incredibly excited to be contributing to this national database and we hope that our materials will reach out across the country empowering youth to make health desicions about how they party.  On our new postcards we've included room for you to personalize the resource and put in your own contact information.  We are so pleased to be collaborating with CATIE again, and we hope to have more of our resources available in the future.

RIP Big Bop

RIP Big Bop

On January 30th 2010 at 9pm, the big purple building on the corner that was once referred to by some as "Crack and Pizza", will open it's doors one last time for Nocturnal Commission's and Embedded's Good to The Last Bop. For the past three decades, The Big Bop has been host to a variety of events catering to youth of all subcultures from punk, ska and goth to being Toronto's most notorious rave venue. To many, the close of the complex comes as sad news. As one of the few well known all-ages event spaces in city some argue that there will certainly be a decrease in the already limited number of all-ages parties. However many such as myself have seen the close as a kind of blessing and as the possibility of a re renewal in the search for new, cleaner, more positive feeling spaces for parties. There is nothing like the feeling that freshness brings. Instead of a loss to the nightlife community the close should be seen as a new era. The scene has changed over they years and it should be expected that change should take place in all areas.

We all have our favorite Big Bop memories. From talking for hours with our friends in the washroom, telling our moms we were sleeping at friends house while trying not to fall off of the fire escape, drinking until the sun came up and even having sex for some of us (See: i had sex at big bop Facebook group). Some of us made friends or got to know the friends we had even better. Others, for the first time, were able to express themselves in a way that they weren't comfortable doing in another environment. Hearts were broken and mended and cell phones were lost and found.  So as we gather there for one last time on January 30th we should be reminded that the parties made it the place it was, and not the place that made the parties what they were.


We will miss the Big Bop!



Empower Manual now LIVE

An HIV/AIDS Arts Activism Manual for Youth by Youth


Toronto, ON — January 2009

Check it OUT:  “Empower: Youth, Arts and Activism: An
HIV/AIDS Activism Manual for Youth by Youth”

Button-Making, Fashion, YouTube Projects, Film-Making, Safer Sex
Organizing, and More!

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!

This youth, queer, and sex positive manual features work, interviews
and hot tips from the following youth activists and program:

- Prise Positive Take, Montréal
- Fashioning Change, YouthCARE, Toronto
- sprOUT/Compass, Griffin Centre, North Toronto
- PhotoVoice and the Francophone Project, GAAP, Toronto
- The Sense Project: Head & Hands, Montréal
- No Pants No Problem! Safer Sex Party Organizing, from Montréal to
- Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Turtle Island
- Innovative HIV Prevention by Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention
(Black CAP), Toronto
- Playing it Safe Project, YouthCO AIDS Society, Vancouver
- Visual Artist, Jenn Yee.


Partners of Empower: Youth, Arts, and Activism – An HIV/AIDS Arts
Activism Manual for Youth by Youth

Youth Action Network (YAN)

Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention

Centre for Urban Health
Initiatives (CUHI)

Printing of the manual has been generously supported by CATIE.

To order a FREE copy of the manual please visit the
CATIE Ordering Centre at after
the launch. CATIE Centre Catalogue Number ATI-26158. Copies also
available for download.

For more information about Empower, please visit or contact
Sarah Switzer, managing editor at


The Toronto Raver Information Project Comments on the U.S. Crackdown on Raves

Found from DanceSafe
E-News Issue No. 4

February 1-7, 2001
Interview by Jane Tseng, DanceSafe

The Toronto Raver Info Project (TRIP) is a community based peer education and harm reduction group in Toronto, Canada. TRIP was founded approximately five years ago and works out of Queen West Health Center. They have established themselves as experts in health issues surrounding the late night dance music scene in Toronto through their community forums and booth outreach services at events. In light of recent events in New Orleans, E-News talked with Erin Lewis, Project Director of TRIP about how they worked with city officials and the rave community a year and a half ago when the city of Toronto placed a ban on raves.

E-News: How would you compare the recent events surrounding raves in the United States to the government crackdown on
raves in Toronto last year?

Lewis: There are a lot of things that are very familiar, they sound very much like what was going on here in Toronto last year. The city was saying that raves are warehouses of sin. There was story in the newspaper wherethey took pictures of ecstasy pills and put them next to a table full of guns, saying that all of these drugs and these guns were confiscated at raves, when the reality is that there has never been a gun found out a rave in Toronto. They really sort of played up on the hazards of the environment saying that there weren't any washrooms and people were filling their water bottles up out of toilets and things like that. In response, what they did was ban raves off of the city's property, because the city doesn't support this kind of behavior. They said "You can't have anything there, because your parties are too dangerous". The problem was that the city property, the exhibition grounds in Toronto, is the most safe environment for large gatherings of people, because that is what it was built for. It is adequately zoned, it has exits, hundreds of toilets, running water, and its own security.

E-News: How did the ban on raves and the negative public attention on the rave scene affect the harm reduction work that TRIP does?

Lewis: Trip actually had to sit through this inquest into the death of a guy who died on ecstasy a year and a half ago at a party. We went through having our information out there on trial...having all of these powerful people from the city pulling apart everything in our information, telling us, "You're promoting drug use." They were saying that information like ours contributed to his death, and that we were making people want to use drugs. That was absolute hell. But we're still kicking, right?

E-News: What steps did TRIP and the community take to react to the government crackdown?

Lewis: We did a lot as TRIP and the Toronto Dance Safety Committee, whose chair was the project manager of TRIP at that time. The Party People Project, which is a community activism project that started out of one of TRIP's community forums, is a group of about 150 people from the rave community in Toronto that also happened to be politically active. They were also very loud and very political. They took every measure to fight the government in the crackdown and really worked to mobilize themselves. When the city government was deciding whether or not to keep the ban in place, the Party People Project and the Toronto Dance Safety Committee put together a huge information package and an accompanying video that really went in depth to dispel all of these myths about the community. They did a lot of political lobbying. One of the things that we did was to organize a large rally at city hall and we were able to pull together about 20,000 people for
that. We had say "Hey, we're here, and we dance, and its not just ravers that you would be shutting down through this crackdown".

E-News: Did the rave community enlist the support of any other organizations?

Lewis: The way that everything was worded in this government crackdown meant that if they were going to be banning raves, they would be banning a number of large exhibitions through the city, a number of multi-cultural festivals, the gay pride ball, and things like that. It really alarmed a number of other communities as well. We really worked to get their support, and to help to fight this.

E-News: When the city lifted the ban on raves, did the govornment create more regulations on how parties would be thrown?

Lewis: The protocols for safer dance events was initially carried out by the Toronto Dance Safety Committee, which is affiliated with TRIP. We were very closely involved in writing that protocols and working with the city to find some room for agreement. The police force, and the city of Toronto, and the media were really working together on this to shut down the scene and there are a lot of residual affects from that. There are a lot of protocals in place that make it really hard for people to throw parties in Toronto. It has caused a lot of division among the rave community. People started finger-pointing. Who wants to work with the city on something as sacred as your dance floor? We shouldn't be in this situation anyway. But unfortunately, we had no choice. All of these promoters in the city and all of the party kids in the city could get busted if we hadn't worked with the city to find some common ground. The biggest fight around that was to define what constitutes a rave, and what constitutes a raver. That was a really tough one to define. We had to be very choosy with our words, and very careful as to how we would define a rave, so that other groups that throw events that aren't necessarily raves, wouldn't fall into the same sort of situation.

E-News: What experience or advice can you give on how to deal with a situation where your community is being unfairly targeted?

Lewis: You have to be really proactive. You have to say, "we're going to fight this, we're going to win."

FDA Press Release on Ketamine Recall

Teva Animal Health, Inc. expands a voluntary nationwide recall of Ketamine Hydrochloride Injection, USP CIII 100mg/mL in 10mL vials

Denise Bradley
Tel: 215-591-8974 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- December 21, 2009 - Teva Animal Health, Inc. is expanding a nationwide voluntary recall of Ketamine Hydrochloride Injection, USP CIII 100mg/mL in 10mL vials for all lot numbers within their expiration dates to the Veterinary Level.  This product had previously been recalled to the distributor level and is being expanded as a result of an increased trend in serious adverse events associated with this product.

Veterinarians who have this product in their possession are instructed to cease using the product immediately and return it to their distributor.

Ketamine Hydrochloride is a rapid acting, non-narcotic, non-barbiturate agent for anesthetic use in cats and for restraint in subhuman primates. This recall is being conducted as a result of an increased trend in serious adverse events associated with this product, including lack of effect, prolonged effect, and death and involves all lot numbers within expiration.

Teva Animal Health, Inc is voluntarily recalling the aforementioned product. The FDA has been apprised of this action.

Consumers with questions may contact 800-759-3664 from 8:00am – 5:00pm CST Monday-Friday.

 More information here with complete list of brand recall.

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