If I close my eyes tightly enough, I can still remember the rush of euphoria that hit me the first time I took MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy) at the age of 16. It was 1998, and my best friend and I had snuck out of her house in Port Credit, Ont., and taken the GO train to downtown Toronto. There, we loaded ourselves onto a magical school bus to attend our first rave. As we arrived in the middle of nowhere, we saw a sea of bodies clad in fun fur, tightly gripping glow sticks and swaying to thumping bass lines. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Everyone was welcoming and inviting, happy to share a warm embrace—or some of their favourite party favours, “to help keep the vibe alive.”

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