What is this drug called Molly and what makes it so dangerous?
Molly, a party drug also known as Ecstasy, is the synthetic drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the nickname Molly (slang for “molecular”) often refers to the supposedly “pure” powder form of MDMA. However, most of the Molly used today is a mixture of lab-created chemicals that mimic the effect of MDMA.
How Does Molly Work?
MDMA produces euphoric feelings by increasing the activity of three brain chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that is related to reward, motivation, memory, attention, and regulation of body movements. It creates feelings of pleasure, which motivates one to repeat a specific behavior. Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline and affects the vascular system. Serotonin is sometimes called the happy drug because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. It helps to regulate mood and social behavior. The chemical also affects appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. When combined into Molly, these chemicals produce feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception.
Who Is Using Molly?
The drug was first synthesized in Germany in 1912 as MDMA for pharmaceutical purposes. In the Cold War, MDMA and other hallucinogenic drugs were experimented with as psychological weapons. By the late 1980s, Ecstasy had become a popular party drug associated with rave culture, dance parties and electronic music festivals. Today, dealers market the drug to young first-time drug abusers between the ages of 12 and 17. The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens claims that nearly 5% of high school seniors have used Molly in their lifetime.
What Is Molly So Dangerous?
The main ingredient, MDMA, can cause problems with your body’s ability to control temperature. Therefore, using the drug at parties where you are highly active can lead to an increase in body heat. This can cause liver, kidney, or heart failure or even death. Other effects of Molly use include anxiety, chills, sweatiness, or dizziness. After-effects can include confusion, depression, and insomnia. The most dangerous part about using the drug today is the fact that drug dealers are distributing versions that contain drugs other than MDMA. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, they’ve seen approximately 200 individual chemicals since 2009. Additionally, they’ve discovered 80 new compounds since 2012. In 2013, after several overdoses at concerts and festivals, the DEA sent out a warning regarding Molly use. In their 2017 Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide, other ingredients found in Molly may include methamphetamine, ketamine, cocaine, dextromethorphan (DXM), ephedrine, and caffeine.
If you are a parent, educate yourself on Molly and similar substances popular with kids. Talk to your teens and preteens about the dangers of this drug. Keep the lines of communication open. Most importantly, let them know you’re always there for them.
D’Amore Healthcare is a dual diagnosis and substance abuse addiction treatment center in Orange County, CA.
We provide information and treatment for people dealing with the life-shattering cycle of mental illness, substance abuse and addiction.
If you fear your child may be using drugs or is exhibiting unusual behaviors, call us 24-hours a day at 714.375.1110 or contact us online.