A drug named “Molly” is often described as “the purest form of MDMA”. However, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) says Molly has become a toxic blend of synthetic chemicals. This is the scary part. Teens are purchasing “Molly” expecting to get a pure form of MDMA, and are dying from the adverse effects of unknown substances.
It might appear that a new drug is sweeping the globe – a drug named “Molly”. If you Google search the term, you’ll likely find that it is described as “the purest form of MDMA”. MDMA has long been sold on the club scene, but more commonly known as ‘Ecstasy”.
It’s not entirely clear when ecstasy started being labelled as a low-class drug for ‘e-tards’, but Molly has since taken over the scene as the upscale version of the long-time party drug. Those who are willing to pay a bit more for their drugs are taking Molly – assumedly expecting to get a high quality, pure form of the drug MDMA.
That’s not the case, however. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Molly has become a toxic blend of synthetic (lab-created) chemicals. In fact, the DEA claims that only 13% of all Molly capsules confiscated in the state of New York over the past four years contain any MDMA at all. Instead, they are a mixture of Methylone, MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone), 4-MEC, 4-MMC (mephedrone), Pentedrone and MePP. MDVP has a similar make-up to that of methamphetamine, and mephedrone is said to have a very high risk of overdose.
This is the scary part. Teens are purchasing “Molly” expecting to get a pure form of MDMA which has less negative side effects, and while overdose is still very possible – it doesn’t carry nearly as much risk as the synthetic drugs that are more likely to actually be inside the “pure MDMA” capsules.
The History of MDMA
In 1912, Merck pharmaceutical company applied for a patent for the newly formulated drug MDMA. The drug’s purpose was to control bleeding, and at that time no psychoactive effects had been noted. In the 1950’s, the U.S. Army began experimenting with the drug. While the real reasons behind the tests were strictly classified, some believe they were hoping to find a natural form of truth serum to use on their enemies.
However, nothing came of those tests, and it wasn’t until about 10 years later that an independent chemist began testing the still-legal drug for psychoactive properties and found that it did indeed elevate mood by large amounts. He passed it along to a psychiatrist friend of his who began using it in his practice, prescribing it to patients who were suffering from depression. It seemed to be a miracle drug at the time, of which some physicians dubbed “penicillin for the soul”. Psychiatrists claimed that the drug allowed patients to open up honestly to others, and often gain the insight needed to figure out their own problems – all on their own.
By this point, the ring of doctors handing out this drug was getting wider and wider, and the users were increasing considerably. The drug was becoming more popular, and by the early 1980’s it had become a staple party favour for those in the club world. A euphoric, energetic high that allowed people to stay up all night – all social inhibitions pushed aside – in the form of a pill named ‘ecstasy’.
It wasn’t until 1985 that the DEA banned the drug across the U.S. However, that didn’t mean that ecstasy disappeared. In fact, it was becoming more and more popular with the club crowd. The only difference – it was no longer made in a legal lab with pure ingredients. So, like most street drugs when ingredients were hard to come by, or dealers started getting money-hungry, the drug was cut with cheaper materials.
By the 1990’s, pills were surfacing in nightclubs and raves that contained little to no MDMA. The drug left people strung-out like they’d been on speed or meth instead – and let’s face it – they probably were. In the early ‘90s, deaths were becoming a more common occurrence amongst the rave-crowds, which ultimately led to a decreased interest in the drug. The ‘90s also saw a spike in cocaine use with the then popular ‘grunge’ crowd, but the early 2000s brought back dance music, and the “MDMA” followed.
No one can be sure of the exact transformation, but some people speculate that the deaths and low-quality of ‘ecstasy’ being sold in the early 1990s led the marketers of street drugs to rename a “pure” form of MDMA – and Molly was born.
How Hollywood Promotes Molly to Teens
While marijuana has long been the theme of many songs, for example “Smoke Weed Everyday” by Snoop Dogg, Molly was relatively new in the lyrical world of Hip Hop and Dance music until recently. Miley Cyrus, for instance, has a fan following of mostly 12-20 year old girls. And in her chart-topping single from 2013, “Can’t Stop”, she talks about dancing with Molly, staying up all night, and doing whatever and whomever you please. In a Rolling Stone Interview she let people know that she considers cocaine an old-fashioned drug from the 1990’s and that smoking weed and taking Molly is much better. She claims “Those are happy drugs – social drugs. They make you want to be with friends.”
Is she really openly telling her young fans she uses this dangerous drug? How can she get away with promoting these drugs to anyone, let alone such a young fan base?
She’s not the only Hollywood pop star who has been promoting the drug, though. References have popped up from Kanye West, Trinidad James, and Rick Ross to name a few. DJ Cedric Gervais has a song actually entitled “Molly” in which a woman speaks about wanting to find Molly: “She makes my life happier, more exciting. She makes me want to dance”. Even Madonna, a mother herself, apparently asked the crowd at a 2012 concert “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?”. She later claimed that she was referring to a friend of hers that she was unable to find – much to the disbelief of, well, everyone.
One especially scary part of this promotion of Molly from the music world, is that no one bothers to mention the dangerous side of the drug: the fact that teens are dying from lethal chemical combinations sold as “Molly”.
Deaths from Molly Drug
In September 2013, the 3-day electronic music festival, Electric Zoo, in New York had to cancel the final day of the festival due to two Molly-related deaths in the first two days. Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, and Olivia Rotondo, 20 of Providence R.I., both collapsed with high temperatures. It is believed that Rotondo had taken 6 hits of Molly, and although hers was relatively pure, the dose proved fatal.
Russ on the other hand, took a lethal mix of MDMA and Methylone – sold as “Molly”. The fact that both youth were at the same party and managed to find such varying types of Molly goes to show that the drug is far from “pure” and users never know exactly what they’re going to get.
In an article written for Playboy Magazine entitled “What’s Inside Your MDMA? It’s Not What You Think”, writer Frank Owen purchases three different “pure” Molly pills from various places and finds all three contain little to no MDMA. Instead, ingredients for bath salts, meth, cocaine and even opiates were found inside the capsules.
Where do we go from here?
It would be an easy answer to say that we should erase Molly from existence, but that’s basically impossible. What does need to happen then, is for role models and people in positions of influence, to speak about the real dangers that can come from using this (and all) street drugs.
MTV (Music Television) recently released a casting call for a new show, The Real Life: I’m Addicted to Molly, in which they asked for people aged 18-20 who feel as though they may be addicted to Molly to contact them for the show. The casting call reads “Do you take Molly – the powdered form of MDMA – so often that it feels like you can’t have a good time without it? Is it affecting your ability to function during the day? Is your Molly use no longer confined to the occasional party and starting to become more serious?”
All we can hope is that MTV broadcasts this show in the right light – showing the dangerous effects of a drug that has become commonplace with today’s youth. However, all street drugs are dangerous, because you never can be sure what you are really consuming. Be smart. Be Safe. Stay away from Molly.