A Dangerous Dance with Molly - The Upsurge of Molly Use among Today’s Youth

You’ve likely heard of Molly by now—if not through the recent media flashes of Molly-related deaths and overdoses at music festivals, then at least through its rising popularity in rap lyrics and pop culture. And with its upsurge as a glamorous lifestyle, party-drug among young adults today, there is no doubt that your son has heard of it, too. Molly, the latest and “greatest” relative of ecstasy, has made its way into all kinds of demographics across the country, and is most widely used amongst adolescents and young adults today who are simply looking for a good time. 

dangers of mollyThe much buzzed about drug Molly, short for “molecule,” has been adapted as the street name for the stimulant MDMA—the same primary component found in the popular 90s’ drug, ecstasy. Molly, like its seemingly sweet and innocent name, is meant to be a completely pure version of X. It is allegedly uncut with other substances, more gentle to our bodies, and has not been scientifically proven as physically addictive. Its rebranding—its misrepresentation— lends us to believe that this drug is actually safe, and is becoming more appealing and more accessible to today’s youth as a result. 

Molly is the crystalline powder version of the chemical MDMA, often contained in a capsule. It can be sold in its powder form, or for approximately $40 per 100-milligram pill. Once consumed, Molly takes about fifteen minutes to enter the bloodstream and the brain, producing almost instant feelings of euphoria and closeness, while simultaneously diminishing a user’s anxieties. Its main component, MDMA, acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic, producing both an energizing effect as well as a distorted sense of time and perception. Users often experience a greater, more intimate sense of enjoyment from tactile events. These effects can last anywhere from three to six hours, and users usually take more than one pill at a time to enhance their Molly experience. Just like ecstasy was most commonly taken at raves, Molly is often taken before large parties, music festivals, concerts, and interactive, high-energy environments due to its stimulant properties. 

But if this drug is actually pure and harmless, why are so many young adults falling from a single dose? Molly-related fatalities are not only affecting drug addicts, but also happy, normal functioning adolescents and teenagers who have never tried a drug before popping a Molly pill. 

Just this past year, a dozen students partying at a Connecticut college were hospitalized shortly after a night of using Molly. Two Molly-related deaths and four hospitalized forced the Electric Zoo festival in New York City to shut down early in 2014. In 2013, Boston’s House of Blues saw three people taken away due to a Molly-related overdose in a single night. And these are just a few examples. Since 2013, we’ve seen an extensive string of Molly deaths and similar overdoses at music venues, concerts, and festivals throughout the country: a large stretch of bad Molly batches afflicting cities like Boston, Seattle, Miami, and Washington D.C. 

The fact is, Molly’s “pure” misrepresentation is quickly being exposed. According to the DEA, only about 13 percent of Molly seized actually contains the drug MDMA. Most powders illegally sold contain no MDMA at all, but rather, a synthetic cocktail of chemicals that only mimic its effects. Many of the batches of Molly sold today are diluted with other stimulants like caffeine, or muddled with illicit substances like cocaine, LSD, PCP, speed, bath salts, and ketamine, making Molly use all the more dangerous.  

“Kids are being used as guinea pigs,” notes a DEA spokesman in a recent ABC interview. "The manufacturer [of Molly] didn't go through clinical trials, the person who orders and repackages it doesn't know what it's gonna do to somebody, and the user didn't know what it was going to do to them.” It is no wonder then, why, in a six-year span, emergency room visits related to use of ecstasy, MDMA, and Molly rose by 128 percent among those under the age of 21. 

Not only is the contamination of Molly batches potential dangerous for its users, but the drug itself can bear serious health consequences. High doses of MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, which can result in hyperthermia. When taken in overcrowded, overheated environments such as a music venue, Molly use can lead to severe dehydration, as well as muscle breakdown and liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure. 

Yes, people will claim that Molly is safe, that it is unaltered and pure. They will say that it is not addictive, and that it does not kill brain cells. Yet it cannot be denied that this stimulant drug can pose serious health risks, ones that could easily affect someone you know in a single moment. There remain horror stories of young adults taking one dose and dying almost instantaneously from Molly use. The reality is, no matter how much you pay, or how careful you are with how much you take, you cannot fully predict how your body will react to the drug. No one truly knows how each batch of Molly is prepared. It is so important to understand this, to understand the risks and side effects of Molly use, for the sake of you and your teen. If your son is facing addiction issues and is in need of help, call us today at 1-877-581-1793 for information about a drug treatment program specifically designed for young men.