What Is the Drug Molly?
Molly is another form of the drug MDMA, also called Ecstasy. Most people buying and taking MDMA are popping brightly colored pills with logos or cartoons stamped into them. People looking for Molly are looking for a powdered crystalline product that is usually packed into clear capsules.
Why are they looking for either one? MDMA or Molly is mostly used by people partying, often at nightclubs, music festivals, raves or dance clubs. It not only creates euphoria, it’s also a stimulant that excites people so much that they want to dance for hours. It’s also categorized as an entheogen, a drug that causes artificial feelings of empathy and openness. It’s not hard to understand why people would enjoy this drug at a party or concert. But like any other illicit drug use, there are dangers related to its use. And for some people, those dangers can be life-threatening.
But is That Product Really MDMA?
Chemically, MDMA is known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Many people seeking to party will try to find this drug specifically, but testing of the drugs being sold shows that much of what is sold as MDMA is actually one or more other drugs. Or the product they buy could contain some MDMA along with other drugs. The problem is so pervasive and well-known that some music venues have drug testing booths set up where people can bring a little sample of what they are planning to take. The staff in the booth will tell them if what they have is really Molly or MDMA.
What could it be if it’s not MDMA? The website www.ecstasydata.org documents the results of their tests. Here’s a few of their reports:
- June 2018: Said to be Molly, actually contains methylene
- May 2018: Said to be Molly, contains MDMA and MDA
- April 2018: Said to be Molly, contains 4-chloro-alpha-PPP
- February 2018: Said to be Ecstasy, contains amphetamine, 2C-P, MDMA
- January 2018: Said to be Ecstasy, contains amphetamine
These other drugs designated by letters and numbers are stimulants and psychedelics. Basically, when you buy Molly or Ecstasy, you never know what you are getting.
If You Can Acquire Real MDMA, Is it Safe?
Many people have the impression that if the drug they buy is really MDMA in whatever form, they can have a safe experience. It’s possible that an MDMA or Molly user might come through their experience unscathed. Or they might not. A single use of MDMA can be enough to evoke a bad reaction. And certainly, regular use of MDMA will create physical and mental damage. It might take a while to show up and there’s a couple of reasons the user might not even realize what damage they have experienced.
The first reason is that they might suffer problems common to a person who regularly uses MDMA but they might not connect the problem to the drug. These problems include:
- Sleep problems
- Cravings for more of the drug
There’s even a descriptive term for one of the most serious of the aftereffects of using this drug: Suicide Tuesday. This term describes the feeling that sets in when a person who has been using Ecstasy all weekend finally comes off this drug fully by Tuesday morning. They “crash” because their brains must be able to manufacture the neurotransmitter serotonin to feel good about being alive. But Ecstasy use severely depletes the brain’s serotonin. This despondent feeling is why some people graduate from using Molly or MDMA on only weekends to using it every day. They become dependent on this drug just to function every day.
Low serotonin levels are associated with depression and poor memory. The Molly or MDMA user might not even realize why life seems so bleak.
Brain Damage from Molly or MDMA
The other reason they might not know they are accumulating damage from MDMA use is that it might take a brain scan to show it to them. A 2016 study concluded that use of MDMA damages the serotonin receptors in the brain and makes cognitive activities harder. The authors of this study also concluded that continued use of MDMA would increase the damage.
Research also shows that the areas of the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotion formation and processing stay damaged even after a person stops using the drug.
In fact, a single dose of MDMA changes the pattern of blood flow to the brain, decreasing the blood flow to areas associated with emotional reactions, behavioral learning and motor function.
If an MDMA user knew with certainly that their regular use of MDMA was damaging their brain, would they go ahead and use this drug? Would the euphoric time at the party of dance venue be worth it to them? If a person wants to use a drug to party, it’s usually pretty hard to convince them of the dangers of that choice.
The use of Molly or MDMA can even have fatal effects, even the first time a person uses this drug. Because it is a strong stimulant, it causes the blood pressure to go up and the heart to beat faster. The user is usually inspired to dance to the music that’s playing. If they keep taking MDMA every few hours to keep the high going, they can exhaust and dehydrate themselves. Loss of electrolytes, severe dehydration and organ breakdown can lead to death.
A few people have even died as a result of trying to drink enough cold water to stay cooled off. They killed themselves with acute water intoxication. But in most cases, MDMA-related deaths result from either a bad reaction to the drug or a heat-related breakdown. Every summer music festival season seems to be accompanied by a few Ecstasy-related deaths. In far too many cases, the ones we lost have just been teenagers who hoped to have a good time.