Molly Drug

On day three of the New York City Electric Zoo music festival, festivities needed to be cancelled by the mayor because two twenty-something attendees died. The festival was often used to punctuate the end of summer and could draw as many as 100,000 attendees to the multiple stages set up for the event. DJs play loud rave music and, according to police reports, at some point during the fun 23-year-old Jeffery Russ of Rochester New York and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo of Providence Rhode Island allegedly suffered an overdose on “Molly.” This potent, “friendlier” form of MDMA is commonly used by partygoers every year. As this drug increases in popularity, there are some facts you should know about this substance. What exactly is Molly drug?

What Is Molly Drug?

Molly refers to MDMA, a common name for the chemical methylenedioxymethamphetamine which is the active ingredient in Ecstasy. This drug was first synthesized by Anton Kollish in Germany in 1912, but this drug was not commonly used until the 1970s, when pharmacologist Aledanxer Shulgin resynthesizing the drug to share with his friends, including psychotherapist Leo Zeff.

Zeff noted the virtues of the anxiety alleviating properties of the substance and prescribed it to many patients to reveal fears they had buried. He is rumored to have trained as many as 4000 therapists in how to use this drug effectively. Soon MDMA made its way across Europe, out of psychotherapy and onto dance floors where it became popular with partygoers.

Ecstasy is commonly combined with other, more dangerous drugs such as LSD, speed or ketamine, but Molly is said to contain pure MDMA instead. Molly is often in crystal or powder form that can be sold illegally for $30-$50 a dose.

What Are the Effects?

Michael C. Gerald in The Drug Book notes that Molly produces “euphoria and physical energy” that can increase feelings of intimacy and empathy in those using the substance. This has been described as a sensation that all is right with the world. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that MDMA binds to the serotonin transporters in the brain, altering the brain’s neurochemistry. Psychologically this can increase mood, perceptions, provide a burst of prolonged energy and decrease appetite. It makes the user quite happy and loose, feeling turned on in a way that has been described as a nonsexual way.

What Are the Side Effects?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers Molly a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that this drug has a high potential to be abused and is not considered acceptable for any kind of medical treatment. The DEA has also noted that MDMA can cause depression, confusion, anxiety, sleep problems, paranoia and cravings for the drug. Molly can also cause tremors, muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, muscle cramps, sweating, chills and blurred vision. High doses of MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, which can result in hyperthermia or a significant increase in body temperature. Hyperthermia can cause cardiovascular, liver or kidney failure. If the drug’s effects take hold in hot or crowded conditions, it can also lead to severe dehydration.

Adverse long-term effects on the brain from using Molly are still a subject of debate. One study suggested that taking ecstasy tablets once could cause permanent brain damage, but this was found to be untrue. In 2009, Professor David Nutt of Bristol University noted that long-term damage of using MDMA has been very overstated. However, this does not mean that it is not dangerous to use this substance. Taking multiple hits of MDMA at once can cause an overdose.

In 2011 emergency rooms noted over 22,000 MDMA related visits which is a 120 percent increase from 2004. It has been noted that using this substance can cause people to overstep the body’s natural limits, with dehydration and other symptoms leading to delirium, convulsions and confusion. There is also a risk that the substance will be mislabeled because it is illegal, which may increase the risk of unknown side effects.

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