Molly is making its way back into the mainstream drug culture. It was considered a designer drug in the club culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s; however, in recent years, Molly has been a popular drug of choice with teens and young adults. The most dangerous thing about the trending drug is that it’s almost never what it’s supposed to be. Molly is marketed as the purest and most powerful form of a substance called MDMA. Also known as ecstasy and XTC, MDMA is a mild hallucinogenic that produces euphoria and a sense of well-being.
This substance is becoming more popular again because it enhances social interaction. It sells for about $25 per dose, and it’s easy to “score” on college campuses and on the internet. The substance is in high demand at raves, dance parties, and music festivals where having fun is the top priority.
What Does This Substance Contain?
Molly has been described as ecstasy on steroids. It is to ecstasy what crack is to cocaine. The only problem is that the ingredients are almost always something other than MDMA.
The DEA tested 143 substances being sold as Molly between 2009 and 2013. Although these substances almost always had ingredients that produced psychoactive effects, most of the samples contained no MDMA. In most cases, the samples contained a mix of potentially dangerous, unpredictable, and unregulated ingredients. It’s estimated that over 90 percent of what’s being sold as Molly these days is not MDMA at all. Rather, it’s a mix of counterfeit substances that mimic the action of MDMA.
The most common ingredient in the tested substances was cathinone, a stimulant known on the street as “bath salts.” Other ingredients included crushed up pharmaceuticals like Ritalin and oxycodone or narcotics like amphetamines and cocaine. Only about 13 percent of the samples actually contained MDMA.
There is little or no information about the short and long-term effects of using Molly. To confuse things even further, one dose of Molly can contain an entirely different mix of ingredients than another dose. At present, Molly is a mystery potion that could contain almost anything at all.
What Happens After Taking A Dose?
In the best case scenario, the drug makes the user feel energized, euphoric, peaceful, stimulated, calm, relaxed, warm and fuzzy. There is an increase in pleasurable feelings, and most users express a desire to touch and be touched. The drug increases empathy, emotional warmth and creates a sense of connection between users. There may be mild hallucinogenic effects, an increased libido and distortions of space and time.
The unpleasant effects usually appear the day after using this substance. There can be panic attacks, confusion, paranoia, depression, dehydration, trouble sleeping, tremors, teeth clenching, blurry vision, cramps, nausea, chills, sweating and muscle tension. Users can also experience a “bad trip” if the product they ingest has too high a concentration of toxic ingredients.
How Does This Substance Effect Brain Function?
Molly effects the brain in many ways and over an extended period of time. It amplifies the effects of neurotransmitters that control pleasure centers in the brain. The normal balance of brain chemistry appears to be supercharged after ingesting a dose. After the desired effects wear off, usually within a few hours, users typically experience an unpleasant “low” that can last for days after taking the last dose.
Can This Substance Cause Long-Term Damage?
The after-effects of this drug are usually limited to negative emotional states that last for a day or two after the pleasant effects have worn off. However, these after-effects can sometimes last much longer, and the person may need to be hospitalized as a result. The rate of teen hospitalizations related to this substance increased by over 100 percent between 2004 and 2011.
Symptoms like heart palpitations and seizures can be severe enough to require emergency room treatment. In a worst-case scenario, there may be coma or death. With regular use, there can be long-term damage to the body such as kidney stones, kidney infections, gastrointestinal disorders and kidney damage.
Taking this substance is a lot like playing Russian roulette. The ingredients are not regulated, so there’s no way that a teen can know what the short and long-term effects of taking this substance will be. Also, because every dose can contain a different ingredients, the effects can be completely different every time the substance is ingested.