A new club drug called ‘Molly’ has caused four deaths this past summer.
The drug ‘Molly’ is marketed as the pure powder form of ecstasy, but the contents may not be any more pure than the original drug.
‘Molly’ is popular among the electronic music crowds, and stars such as Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, and Madonna have referred to ‘Molly’ in songs and at concerts.
What’s in ‘Molly?’
Molly is the street name for the drug called MDMA, which stands for 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, which drug providers also use to make the drug ecstasy. Users can ‘snort’ this drug, or inhale it via a nostril, but they most commonly take it via pill or tablet.
Each dose of ‘Molly’ can cost between $15 and $50, according to the New York Daily News, and is supposed to leave the user with a sudden rush of energy and a “feel good” sensation for three to six hours. The drug is also supposed to produce feelings of euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy, as well as distortions in sensory and time perceptions, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Your Brain on ‘Molly’
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ‘Molly’ works by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters in your brain. The emotional side effects of ‘Molly’ are likely to be caused by the large amounts of serotonin, which impacts your mood, appetite, and sleep. The release of serotonin also triggers the release of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin. These two hormones play a large role in the love, trust, and sexual arousal department, which is probably why the drug gives people more empathy towards others.
Although all this feel-good stuff may not sound so bad, the increased levels of serotonin cause some negative after-effects including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug cravings, and anxiety. These negative side effects can occur soon after the person takes the drug, or even up to days and weeks later.
Death by ‘Molly’
There have been four recent deaths that have been associated with ‘Molly.’
On August 31, 2013, a 23 year old Syracuse University graduate and a 20 year old University of New Hampshire died after taking what was thought to be the drug ‘Molly.’
The same weekend, a University of Virginia student died at a rave in Washington, D.C. and a 19 year old female in Boston died at a night club. There have also been many reports of overdoses as well. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, the number of emergency room visits due to MDMA have increased 123 percent since 2004.
In high doses, ‘Molly’ can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, which can result in a person’s liver, kidneys, or cardiovascular system shutting down, and the person can die.
MDMA can also interfere with your metabolism and cause harmful levels of toxins to build up in the body, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Molly or MDMA: Bad News
One of the scary aspects of taking illegal drugs is that you never know what you might actually be taking. You think you maybe taking ‘Molly’ but in reality you could be taking something totally different. Spokesperson Rusty Payne for the Drug Enforcement Administration told the New York Daily News, “A lot of people are missing the boat here,” he said. “Molly could be anything … 80 to 90 percent of the time we are given a chemical or substance believed to be Molly, we’re finding most of the time it is something completely different.”
National Institute on Drug Abuse. DrugFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly). (2013). Accessed September 30, 2013.
New York Daily News. Club drug ‘Molly’ taking a toll on electronic music party scene. (2013). Accessed September 30, 2013.