There have been recent reports of ketamine injection amongst youth in Toronto. This type of drug use has become a common occurrence within various downtown parks especially. It is important to remember that these spaces are public domain and shared with the larger community. If you’re shooting in a park, be aware of those around you and those who will be using the park afterwards. If you go into a k-hole right away you might not have time to properly dispose of your works, and find yourself knocked out before you know what hit you. It’s important to have a trusted friend as a trip sitter if you’re shooting to make sure that this doesn’t happen!
Currently Toronto has no safe injection sites, but if you decide to shoot up it’s important to do it in a safe space where you are aware of your surroundings. Injecting in a crowded venue poses a risk if you fall into other people, objects, chairs, etc. and you could fall into a k-hole before disposing of your needle. A safe space means you have time and light to take your shot. Injecting in a space with good light lets you see your veins or muscles. Decent light will save you time. Sometimes injecting outside or in public spaces means rushing and that can turn into high risk injecting practices that can lead to infections, losing your shot, getting busted, etc. Sometimes we don’t have a safe place to use but there are ways to reduce the harm to you and your community.
Used syringes and gear littering a park not only pose a health hazard but can bring in a lot of scrutiny like cops, neighbourhood watch, media, etc. and risk losing permits, venues, and licenses. Promoters, planners and people like TRIP! Outreach workers work hard to create safe party environments, spaces and events for youth to party/hangout. We currently have a real lack of safe and friendly all ages party spaces and events here in Toronto, so let’s keep what we have going by looking out for ourselves and each other.
Improperly disposed of used syringes can poke other people even if you put them in the garbage can and recap them. The caps can come off and poke maintenance workers or somebody just looking for some empties. Use a bio-hazardous waste receptacle. Just because a needle is capped does not mean that you can put it in the trashcan, as the cap can always come off! There are a variety of places in the downtown core where you can pick up portable syringe disposal containers that are discreet, as well as free unused needles and injection supplies.
TRIP! is located at Queen West Community Health Centre at 168 Bathurst Street, just south of Queen across from the old Big Bop. The health centre is open daily Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9-4pm, and on Tuesdays from 1:30-4pm. Come to the front desk to enquire with our friendly staff about our harm reduction services! If you’re too shy to talk to one of our workers, you can even dispose of your used needles in the bathroom in biohazard containers. If you’re not in the downtown core, check out The Works , a city-wide needle exchange program funded by Toronto Public Health. The Works cares so much about you not sharing needles that they’ll deliver sterilized injection supplies right to your door if you call them! Using new, injection equipment and not sharing can prevent the spread of Hepatitis C, HIV, and other blood borne infections.
For info on Ketamine click here!
Look after yourself, look after each other, be safe and RESPONSIBLE!