Do you know Molly? Word is she’s all around these days.

Molly is another street name, along with ecstasy, for MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) which can be ingested in powder, pill, or capsule form and it is taken orally. MDMA has been around since the early 1900′s when it was created as a weight loss drug, but it was found to create an intense sense of euphoria and some psychedelia (seeing and/or hearing things that may not be there). It regained popularity in the 1980′s in the psychiatry world when it was looked at to treat anxiety and various other disorders…but it also started becoming bigger on the streets in the 80′s and 90′s and started showing up at parties (raves), and started becoming more of a commonly used drug in the 2000′s.  There are some really legitimate reasons this drug is being studied for scientific use, even currently, but there are also some legitimate reasons that people should be wary of taking it as a street drug.Ecstasy_monogram (1)

What is the deal with Molly?

In its purest form, Molly (AKA MDMA), starts to hit within about 30-45 minutes after ingestion, peaks in about 120 minutes, and lasts usually a total of 3.5-5 hours (depending on dose, metabolism, and if you ingest other drugs as well). It creates this intense euphoria, truly the happiest you’ve ever been, with virtually no anxiety response, no fear of strangers, and actually you feel like you know people, it’s almost a false sense of intimacy. The feeling of touch is enhanced, so things feel much better when you touch them and when you are touched; many people use this as a foray into sexual enhancement and encounters they may not normally have/feel.  It is not a drug that people have no control over their actions, they are just very carefree without a worry in the world…one can understand the draw of that! There are many studies underway looking at the use of MDMA in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to help prevent some of the effects of the disorder, and work through the anxiety that can occur. It has also been studied to look at sexual dysfunction and to assist in marriage therapy/counseling.

What’s the Downside?

Because the drug boosts your serotonin levels and enhances all of your happy/good time feelings, the risk is that many people don’t know they are headed for an overdose, because they feel so good, their heart rate is increased, their blood pressure is elevated, and they are usually at concerts or parties where the “vibe” is so up they don’t think anything is wrong with them. An overdose on Molly can come on pretty quickly and be tough to reverse if it’s not treated in time. Also, because you feel so amazing when you’re on it, the next day is a total downer, and people report intense depression, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, paranoia, lack of attention/motivation, GI upset, loss of appetite, and severe exhaustion. And long-term use can lead to severe depression and anxiety.

Drinking alcohol, or using other drugs along with MDMA can make it very difficult for users don’t know that they may be overheating, or losing too much sodium from excessive sweating (which can cause some serious issues in your brain and lead to death), but because the drug lasts 3.5-5 hours, many users with use other drugs along with it to enhance the “high” or make it last longer. It is a deadly combination to mix MDMA with other drugs (even alcohol) and with MDMA use estimated to be around 25 million people annually, there are a LOT of people at risk of overdose, and from the long-term side effects.

Signs of Overdose:

Disorientation, extreme confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, muscle stiffness, chest pain, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headache, loss of consciousness, kidney failure, and coma leading to death.

The Bottom Line?

In the early summer 2013 there were three deaths within one week of each other from presumed MDMA overdose alone by college age people, and overdoses aplenty at the eletronica music festivals over the summer months, leading to some of them being cancelled….and not to mention the fact that many music artists are referencing the drug in their lyrics, it seems like Molly is only gaining in popularity. And there is NO chance I am telling anyone that MDMA is healthy to use!

Be aware of the signs of overdose and seek immediate help if you think you are overdosing, tell someone, and if you see someone you think needs help, get them the help they need by calling emergency services (911 in the US). And parents?  Talk to your college age children about the drug and the risks, it seems that among college-age students, this drug is on the rise, and is used with almost the same frequency as marijuana. If you are thinking about trying the drug, read up first, know signs of overdose, don’t take other drugs, make sure to hydrate properly, and be in a safe environment….OR just skip doing drugs, and live a clean lifestyle, truly the choice is yours!

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