On the weekend I worked at Toybox, which was yet again a great success. With no major incidents, Brett and Andy once again proved that if promoters work hard enough and use evidence-based best practice they can hold a healthy event and ensure that their patrons still have a great time.

The Metro is an amazing venue and one that many partygoers have fond memories of. Walking in early on Sunday morning I was struck by the temperature -“ it was absolutely freezing. As the day progressed and over one thousand patrons partied harder and harder, it definitely got warmer -“ but there was always a cool spot to be found. Why is the temperature of a venue so important and does it really have to be that cold?

It is well known that MDMA affects serotonin levels. Serotonin is believed to affect a number of different functions including mood, memory, aggression, appetite, sexual function and sleep. Although some studies have recently been discredited it is still believed that MDMA can cause a depletion in serotonin and certain nerve endings. This has been described as pruning the neuron and it is believed that this is a long-term effect.

MDMA is therefore regarded as a neurotoxin. This means that it damages brain cells that produce serotonin. There is debate, however, about what this damage actually means. Some believe that a change in the brain does not necessarily mean that it has to be bad. Many believe that the ecstasy neurological timebomb which has been talked about for some time may not ever happen. Others believe that the change will result in long-term problems such as depression and anxiety.

Whatever the change to the brain actually means, there is one thing that all the experts agree on -“ it does occur. Whether it will have any serious repercussions on users is not known. We know that there are three ways ecstasy users can reduce this damage, two of which are related to temperature.

First, toxicity is definitely dose-related, so if you’re going to use, make sure you keep the number of pills you take to a minimum. Secondly, the user’s core temperature directly affects toxicity. Keeping your body temperature as cool as possible is important -“ cold drinks and icy poles at the crucial moment can assist you here. Using a chill-out room and having regular breaks are also useful tips. Finally and very importantly, the temperature of the room has been shown to play a vital role in the level of toxicity. This sends a very important message to club owners regarding the environment they provide for their patrons. We are extremely fortunate in Sydney in that all of our major venues work very hard to ensure that we have the safest environments possible.

The Metro not only provides a cool environment -“ the chill-out room with the movie continuously playing also ensures there is an area to escape the stimulation of music and lighting. Add to this the cold refresher towels and the icy poles that Brett and Andy provide and you have one of the safest events in town. Our clubs have long been at the forefront of the provision of healthy environments -“ it’s great to see our promoters caring as much.

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