Where we came from
TRIP! 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.
The idea of harm reduction was relatively new to the general public at this time in North America, although it had been widely practiced in Europe for some time and with great success. It was a concept that ravers were into as it was new and different, and it challenged social constructs and empowered individuals to make their own decisions around their lives and how to live them -- with awareness. TRIP! blossomed into a huge community success. In the following years, the North American rave scene would see several other rave-based harm reduction projects sprout up in communities across the continent. We can't take credit for creating rave-based harm reduction -- several European groups and one South African project had already been at it for some time. Much respect to them as they have pioneered a strong and influential movement that continues to this day.
What we offer
TRIP! provides several services to the dance community and beyond. Most notably the project is known for its onsite outreach booths, a vendor-style setup staffed by 2-3 TRIP workers and volunteers, which offers a display of safer drug use and safer sex information and supplies. It is here that partyers can find a place to chill out and talk, pick up earplugs, condoms and lube, utilize our needle exchange services, and talk to TRIPsters about sex, drugs and partying.
All TRIP! staff and volunteers are trained in basic counseling, crisis intervention, how to handle drug-related emergencies, and CPR. Therefore, TRIP!'s presence adds first responders in the event of an emergency, which increases the safety of all in attendance at any given event. All of our onsite services are FREE to the community, and TRIP! gratefully receives free admission to events by event organizers.
TRIP! provides general information and referrals to community members outside of the party environment.
TRIP! provides a variety of workshops on safer drug use, safer sex, and safer partying to other organizations, schools, etc. by request. All workshops are catered to the demographic at hand. You can book TRIP! for an event here.