In December, nine people ranging from ages 15 to 25 years collapsed during a Zed's Dead concert at the Electric Factory in Philly. The concert was cancelled. One attendee reported that many people were sloppy, eyes rolling to the back of their heads and they were falling. In the past year a drug called Molly seems to have made its way into the Electronic Dance Music scene. College campuses have also experienced a considerable increase in the use of Molly within the past year. Reportedly, students who don't typically use drugs are using it.
Molly, originating from the word molecule, is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the purest form of Ecstacy. MDMA is most commonly known for its use in the pressed pill Ecstacy. Coming across the Canadian border and from Asia, it is now being marketed as a club drug. In the late 90's and early 2000's, I addressed Ecstacy in my programs at campuses across the country. Eventually I deleted it because it seemed like the drug disappeared. The reemergence of its use is causing me to dust that topic off and bring it back to the forefront.
It is difficult to tell if the drug, which is sold as a powder or pills with Coach or Mercedes pressed into them is pure. Ingredients are mixed in unsanitary places like bathtubs and toilets and Molly can be laced with Ketamine, meth and heroin.
The active ingredient, MDMA, induces feelings of empathy and creates a feeling of love and warmth towards everyone. So one's feelings are not real, they are created by the drug. Users have the desire to touch and feel but do not perform well sexually.
MDMA can cause confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving. Physical effects include increased heart rate, heavy sweating, teeth clenching, chills, seizures, convulsions, and a sharp increase in body temperature.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is a chemical that transmits nerve impulses from one cell to another in the brain. MDMA harms the nerve cells, causing an alteration in the serotonin levels, affecting mood, and often cycling people into long-term depression and anxiety after its use. It has also been shown that one time use of MDMA can create lesions in the brain. Memory deficits can also occur in users.
Often taken at raves, the continuous dancing without rest or rehydration can cause the body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. Excessive perspiration induces a loss of fluid and the euphoric qualities of the drug make the user oblivious to their energy expenditure. Molly is often taken with alcohol, causing further dehydration and putting the user at greater risk. This dehydration leads to overheating, convulsing and seizures.
An undercover drug officer once shared a story of a young man who died from an MDMA overdose. His body temperature continued to climb to well over 108 degrees an hour after his death. He also showed a video of a guy flopping on the floor like a fish out of water. This was a result o the increase in body temperature.
I have been speaking at colleges for the past 15 years. Each year it always seems that there is a new substance to tempt students. Never did I think that Ecstacy would return in the form of Molly. My own personal motto and message to students has been - Treat your body like a temple. It is the only one you have. If you respect it, you will remain healthy and have a good quality of life. I have seen many friends who experimented with various drugs and compromised their health and quality of life. Nothing else matters unless you are healthy.