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High Stakes Addiction: A New Fatal Drug to Know About

Fluorescent lights often seen at rave parties.
Fluorescent lights often seen at rave parties.

Molly is everywhere. Concerts. Festivals. High school parties. Pretty much anywhere teens and young adults gather.

And she’s preying on the novice drug user ⎯ somebody inexperienced in the world of drugs.

Molly,” short for molecule, is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in Ecstasy.

Molly is considered to be pure MDMA, unlike Ecstasy, which is usually laced with other ingredients like caffeine or methamphetamine.

Unfortunately for the user, this is a misconception.

“The buzz about Molly is the result of widespread misconceptions about what the drug really is,” said Dr. David Sack, an expert in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine.

Between 5 to 7 percent of high school students have admitted to using what they thought was the recreational drug known as “Molly,” according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

“Molly is whatever the seller wants it to be,” said Special Agent Joseph Moses. “In one region, only 13 percent of the samples submitted to the lab that were supposedly MDMA contained any.”

The chemicals found in Molly mimic the effects of MDMA ⎯ most of which are central nervous system stimulants that cause euphoric highs. They have also been associated with rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, blood vessel constriction, confusion, paranoia, chills, nausea, faintness, and severe sweating ⎯ which can hinder the body’s ability to regulate temperature.

According to WebMD, Molly is being marketed to young first-time drug abusers between the ages of 12 and 17, as well as traditional rave and electronic dance music fans who think they’re getting a pure form of MDMA.

“Our kids are being used as guinea pigs by drug traffickers,” said Al Santos, associate deputy administrator for the DEA.

What makes Molly so dangerous is the toxic combination of unknown chemicals. Unlike MDMA, the formula for Molly continues to change, leaving the buyer with no knowledge of what they’re taking or at what dose.

“You’re playing Russian roulette if you take these compounds because we’re seeing significant batch-to-batch variances,” said Santos.

The DEA reports that the synthetic drug market is a multibillion-dollar business that continues to explode in the United States. Congress passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act in July 2012, which controlled 26 compounds by name.

Unfortunately for officials, every time the government deems a compound illegal, chemists find a way to alter the formula, to create a substance that is no longer classified as controlled.

The best thing you can do for your kids is to educate them on the drug, in hopes they won’t one-day fall victim to Molly’s fatal effects.

Knowledge is power.

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