15 Jan Who, or What, Is Molly?
The East Coast has recently seen a number of deaths of young people from a drug called Molly. Most notable were the deaths of two partiers in their early 20s at the Electric Zoo music festival on Labor Day. The two people collapsed at the event on Randall’s Island and were found to have exceptionally high body temperatures. Molly was found to be the culprit and the third day of the festival was cancelled after the incident. Earlier in the summer, three young people in Boston overdosed on Molly, one a 19-year-old college student. Other incidents have occurred throughout the country.
Molly is a drug that has shown up in the news for causing deaths and overdoses at rock and techno music festivals and at clubs. It has also been referenced by celebrities, specifically in popular songs by Kanye West and Miley Cyrus and by Madonna at her concerts. So who is this Molly? She may be causing a rash of problems now, but she is just a new name for a drug that has been around for a long time.
What Is Molly?
Molly is a substance called 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, or MDMA for short. It is a type of amphetamine; in other words, speed. While amphetamines act to keep you alert and awake, MDMA also has a psychedelic and emotional twist to it. For these reasons, it has long been a popular party drug. MDMA has been around for decades, and used to be called Ecstasy. The drug Ecstasy is known to be MDMA cut with other substances, while many claim that Molly is pure MDMA.
MDMA has the effect of making the user feel euphoric, and imparts the ability to stay awake and to feel energized. Additionally, MDMA makes the user feel more social, closer to others, turned on and generally in love with other people in the vicinity. It is the ultimate feel-good drug, which explains its party popularity.
Why Is Molly So Dangerous?
All street drugs are dangerous to take. In addition to the immediate effects, there is always the risk of overdose and addiction with continuous use. What might be driving the recent increase in deaths from Molly is that many people believe it is safer than other drugs. Molly is supposedly pure MDMA. Ecstasy is MDMA cut with other substances, anything from caffeine to methamphetamine. The possibility of impurities in a drug is always a risk with street drugs. There could be anything mixed in with an illegal drug. People who think that something called Molly is guaranteed to be pure are kidding themselves.
Because users falsely believe they are using a “safe” drug, they may use more than they would otherwise. This can lead to an unexpected overdose. And, if the drug has been cut with a harmful impurity, the user is getting more of that substance as well. Different hits of Molly can range from having no MDMA at all to having enough to cause an overdose. There is no guaranteed safety in using this drug.
The Side Effects of Molly
Molly may give users and partygoers a happy, warm and fuzzy feeling, but it can also cause some serious side effects. The most serious is that it raises the body temperature. By taking too much, or by taking the drug in an environment that is too warm, a Molly user can get heatstroke. This can be life threatening, and is often the ultimate cause of death during an overdose. Other serious potential side effects include high blood pressure, seizures, and severe depression following use.
Less serious side effects can also occur with use of Molly. These are being seen more and more often in patients visiting emergency rooms. They include dehydration, anxiety, insomnia, excessive teeth grinding, loss of appetite and fever.
One misconception circulating about Molly is that staying hydrated will avoid some of the dangerous side effects. Many users falsely believe that if they just drink plenty of water, they will not get dehydrated or overheated. The truth is that Molly actually causes water retention. Drinking more water can lead to a dangerous imbalance of electrolytes.
Molly may be just an old drug going by a new name, but she is no less dangerous. What makes Molly particularly troubling is that dealers have done an excellent job of marketing the drug as wholesome and pure and therefore safer than other illicit substances. Molly is still harmful, can easily cause death, or at the least a trip to the ER. Anyone considering this as a safe option should think again.
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